The first trailer for If Beale Street Could Talk has been released in honor of James Baldwin’s birthday today, August 2nd. Adapted from Baldwin’s 1974 novel of the same name, the film is the next in line from the Academy Award-winning Moonlight director, Barry Jenkins.
If Beale Street Could Talk tells the story of Tish (KiKi Layne), a newly engaged and pregnant woman from Harlem who is attempting to prove the innocence of her falsely accused lover, Fonny (Stephen James).
The footage displayed in the trailer is incredibly raw and poignant. Aside from the phenomenal acting, Moonlight’s cinematographer James Laxton brings emotional depth to the film with his eye for capturing intimate and sentimental moments on-screen. Echoing in the background are the profound words of James Baldwin himself, forming a deeply captivating experience within the span of two minutes.
“James Baldwin is a man of and ahead of his time; his interrogations of the American consciousness have remained relevant to this day,” said Jenkins in a statement when the project was initially announced. “To translate the power of Tish and Fonny’s love to the screen in Baldwin’s image is a dream I’ve long held dear. Working alongside the Baldwin Estate, I’m excited to finally make that dream come true.”
If Beale Street Could Talk is from Annapurna pictures and stars KiKi Layne, Stephan James, Regina King, Brian Tyree Henry, Teyonah Parris, and Colman Domingo. It will have its world premiere at the Toronto Film Festival this September, and its theatrical release will be on November 30th.
Watch the official trailer below: