The Trailer for Amazon's 'The Underground Railroad' Teases a Journey Into the Unknown

Filmmaker Barry Jenkins returns with a trailer for his series adaptation of Colson Whitehead's Pulitzer-winning novel.

For the last year or so, director Barry Jenkins, the filmmaker behind the Oscar-winning Moonlight and the stunning James Baldwin adaptation If Beale Street Could Talk, has teased bits of imagery and clips from his upcoming limited series The Underground Railroad on his personal Vimeo account, his Instagram, and on Twitter. For fans of the filmmaker and readers of writer Colson Whitehead's 2016 novel, which won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, each glimpse of the work in progress was more intriguing than the last. Now, Amazon has released the first full trailer, which provides a stronger sense of the narrative driving the show's evocative visuals. 

The 10-episode series follows Cora, played by Thuso Mbedu, as she makes a daring escape from a plantation in Georgia and, in a mystical twist, eventually discovers a literal train system that exists underground. She's pursued by a slave-catcher named Ridgeway (Joel Edgerton) who previously chased after Cora's mother, Mabel. 

The tense, vivid trailer features the type of lyrical passages Jenkins is known for from his films, and he'll be directing each episode of the series, likely giving it a distinct look and feel. Previously, Jenkins directed a stand-out episode of Netflix's Dear White People, but this is his first large-scale TV project.

The limited series arrives on Amazon Prime on May 14.

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Dan Jackson is a senior staff writer at Thrillist Entertainment. He's on Twitter @danielvjackson.