Amazon drops new trailer for ‘The Underground Railroad’ series

"This show isn’t a show about slavery. It’s a show about the character Cora."

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The official trailer has dropped for Barry Jenkins‘ highly anticipated Amazon Original series The Underground Railroad, set to debut May 14 exclusively on Prime Video.

The 10-episode limited series is based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Colson Whitehead, and will premiere in more than 240 countries and territories worldwide.

As theGRIO previously reported, The Underground Railroad chronicles Cora Randall’s (newcomer Thuso Mbedu) desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. After escaping a Georgia plantation for the rumored Underground Railroad, Cora discovers no mere metaphor, but an actual railroad full of engineers and conductors, and a secret network of tracks and tunnels beneath the Southern soil.

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Over the course of her journey, Cora is pursued by Ridgeway (Joel Edgerton), a bounty hunter who is fixated on bringing her back to the plantation she escaped; especially since her mother Mabel is the only one he has never caught. As she travels from state to state, Cora contends with the legacy of the mother that left her behind and her own struggles to realize a life she never thought was possible. Check out the trailer below.

“This show isn’t a show about slavery. It’s a show about the character Cora,” Jenkins explained in an interview with Shadow and Act. “I think when we talk about slavery, in a way, we almost dehumanize the folks who were enslaved against their will. We almost rob them of their personhood. We assume the condition of being enslaved was the totality of their experience and the totality of their humanity.”

Jenkins added, “There is a lot of character work around what these characters did. “You know, some of them were people who planted [and] nursed vegetation [and] gardens for their own sustenance. Some of them were blacksmiths, who built things with their hands. Those things have nothing to do with the condition of being enslaved. Those people have the same vocations the same way you and I [have],” he explained. 

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“I want to have the opportunity to go past the assumptions of the conditions of an enslaved person and past the reductions of humanity of an enslaved person,” he said. “I think to do that, I need 10 hours. I need 10 episodes. I can’t do it in two hours. And I’m glad he said, ‘I agree.’”

The Underground Railroad stars Mbedu, Edgerton, and Chase W. Dillon. Aaron Pierre, Sheila Atim, Amber Gray, Peter De Jersey, Chukwudi Iwuji, Damon Herriman, Irone Singleton, Mychal-Bella Bowman, Marcus “MJ” Gladney, Jr., Will Poulter, and Peter Mullan round out the cast.

Jenkins serves as showrunner and directs all ten episodes of the series. He executive produces alongside Adele Romanski, Mark Ceryak, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Brad Pitt, Richard Heus, Jacqueline Hoyt, and Colson Whitehead

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