Alvin Ailey Is Getting the Full Hollywood Treatment

Alvin Ailey. Photo by Normand Maxon, Courtesy AAADT

Here's some Monday news to rock your soul: An upcoming Fox Searchlight film about the life of Alvin Ailey just got even more enticing—Barry Jenkins, the filmmaker who won an Oscar for Moonlight, has signed on as director.


It feels like quite a fitting hire. Back in 2017, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater artistic director Robert Battle choreographed an homage to Moonlight, starring Ailey standout Jamar Roberts.

In addition to big Hollywood names, the movie will have serious dance cred.

Not only is it is being made in full cooperation with the Ailey company, producers are working closely with both Battle and artistic director emerita Judith Jamison to tell Ailey's story—and bring his choreography to life. Which hopefully means we'll get to see some gorgeous Ailey dancers doing their thing onscreen.

The script, being written by Julian Breece, will be based on dance writer Jennifer Dunning's book Alvin Ailey: A Life in Dance. And, just to throw in a dash of celebrity, Alicia Keys is on board as one of the producers.

This seems to be prime time for major dance biopics. On top of recent releases about the lives of Rudolf Nureyev and Carlos Acosta, plans are also in the works for films about Michaela DePrince (directed by none other than Madonna) and, of course, Misty Copeland.

We're already getting our popcorn ready.

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