“Race” Star Stephan James in Talks for Barry Jenkins’ “If Beale Street Could Talk”


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Last month, Moonlight director Barry Jenkins signed onto Annapurna Films’  as his follow-up to the Best Picture winner, and he’s now in talks with  from Race to play the film’s male lead.

Production is expected to start in October for the film based on James Baldwin’s novel with Jenkins writing and directing the romantic drama.

Baldwin’s book follows a newly-engaged Harlem woman named Tish who tries to prove her lover innocent of a crime while she carries their unborn child. James would play Tish’s fiance Fonny.

James has been playing a number of African-American heroes in recent years, including John Lewis in Ava Duvernay’s Selma and Jesse Owens in the 2016 drama Race. Earlier this year he could be seen as Preston Terry in the Fox mini-series Shots Fired.

James is repped by , and .

Variety previously reported this casting.

  | East Coast Editor

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