Watch the Emotional First Trailer for Barry Jenkins's New Film 'If Beale Street Could Talk'

The 'Moonlight' director is making his return to the big screen with an adaptation of James Baldwin's 1974 novel.

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Aug 2 2018, 4:09pm

Academy Award–winning director Barry Jenkins has been pretty busy since stunning audiences with Moonlight. He's reportedly working with Black Panther's Chadwick Boseman on a 1970s plane hijacking thriller, turning The Underground Railroad into an Amazon series, and still trying to catch up on some iconic 90s rom-coms. But on Thursday, the director gave fans a peek of his latest project, a film adaptation of James Baldwin's 1974 novel If Beale Street Could Talk.

The trailer teases an epic Harlem love story based on Baldwin's protagonists, 19-year-old Tish (KiKi Layne) and 22-year-old Fonny (Stephan James). But their courtship is cut short after Fonny is falsely accused of rape. Pregnant with Fonny's child, Tish works with her mother, played by Regina King, to exonerate him before she gives birth.

The gut-wrenching two-and-a-half-minute clip shows Tish and Fonny sharing late-night walks under the loud rumble of the nearby subway, scenes of Fonny alone in a jail cell, and the agonizing fallout of his arrest—all over actual soundbites from Baldwin. Alongside Layne, James, and King, Beale Street stars Dave Franco and Atlanta's Brian Tyree Henry, who makes a brief appearance in the clip.

Jenkins shared the trailer in a tweet on Thursday, Baldwin's birthday, to commemorate the iconic writer and social activist who spent his life railing against the discrimination face by both African American and gay and bisexual men.

If Beale Street Could Talk hits select theaters on November 30. Until then, check out the emotional trailer above.

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