Australia’s Own Joel Edgerton Stars In Barry Jenkins’ ‘The Underground Railroad’, Coming In May

Joel Edgerton

Australian actor Joel Edgerton can next be seen in The Underground Railroad — the highly anticipated limited series from Academy Awardwinner Barry Jenkins. 

The 10-episode series, based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Colson Whitehead, has been made as an Amazon Original and will premiere on Prime Video on May 14. 

The plot revolves around Cora Randall’s (newcomer Thuso Mbedu) desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. After escaping a Georgia plantation for the rumoured 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.

Over the course of her journey, Cora is pursued by Ridgeway (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 realise a life she never thought was possible.

Thuso Mbedu Credit: Amazon Studios

The series was created by Moonlight and If Beale Street Could Talk director Barry Jenkins who serves as showrunner and director for all ten episodes.

Meanwhile, actor Brad Pitt is one of the executive producers while The Good Place’s William Jackson Harper and The Undoing’s Lily Rabe also star.

Joel Edgerton, Lily Rabe and William Jackson Harper Credit: Getty Images

In an interview with IndieWire in April 2020, Jenkins revealed how emotional the experience of making the series was and said it was his most ambitious project to date.

“It’s the toughest thing I’ve ever done, not because it was difficult to make physically, but just emotionally,” Jenkins said.

“I’ve never cried on set with anything I’ve made. On this one, at least once every two weeks somebody would be like, ‘You alright, man?’. I would have to walk… off the set for 10 or 15 minutes because I was just distraught. Our guidance counselor pulled me off set one day and would not let me continue to direct.”

Barry Jenkins
Barry Jenkins Credit: Getty Images

Rounding out the cast of The Underground Railroad is 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.

Watch the official teaser trailer here:

Read more stories from The Latch and subscribe to our email newsletter.