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Barry Jenkins Unveils First Look at ‘If Beale Street Could Talk’

Barry Jenkins unveiled an intense first look at his adaptation of James Baldwin’s novel “If Beale Street Could Talk” on what would have been the author’s 94th birthday.

“For me, August 2nd has always been a day to pay tribute, so… a teaser of what’s to come. Happy Birthday, Jimmy,” Jenkins tweeted on Thursday morning.

If Beale Street Could Talk” follows a pregnant woman from Harlem named Tish (Kiki Layne), whose lover (Stephan James) is falsely accused of rape. When Tish finds out she is pregnant while James’ character Fonny is in prison, she races against the clock with help from her family and her lawyer to find evidence to exonerate Fonny.

“There are days when you wonder what your role is in this country, and what your future is in it,” a voiceover by Baldwin says in the trailer. “The things that tormented me the most were the very things that connected me to all the people who were alive.”

Production companies are Jenkins’ Pastel company, Brad Pitt’s Plan B, and Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Pictures, which is also financing the film. The film will have its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in September and is scheduled to be released on Nov. 30 by Annapurna Pictures.

The cast includes Pedro Pascal, Colman Domingo, Brian Tyree Henry, Teyonah Paris, Dave Franco and Regina King.

“Beale Street” is Jenkins’ first movie since “Moonlight” won the Academy Award for best picture, best supporting actor, and best screenplay. The film marks the first feature under the production pact between Pastel and Annapurna and is also part of Plan B’s production deal with Annapurna. Jenkins has been working closely with the Baldwin Estate to write the screenplay.

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