Amazon’s ‘The Underground Railroad’ + NBC’s ‘At That Age’ Casting for Fall 2020

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Photo Source: Courtesy of Amazon Prime Video/NBC

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While production restrictions are changing weekly, some Hollywood film and TV projects are moving forward with casting ahead of tentative shooting dates set for later this year once safe on-set protocols have been established. Please note that shoot dates are subject to state and county COVID-19 quarantine restrictions and may change. Refer to Call Sheet for the latest updates, and keep checking Backstage for the latest news on project development during this time.

“The Underground Railroad”
A series that has been in the works for quite some time finally has plans to go to set. Amazon has quickly moved “The Underground Railroad,” inspired by Colson Whitehead’s Pulitzer Prize–winning novel of the same name, into a series slot on its upcoming programming slate. An important part of history takes focus in this period drama and alternate history, which tells the story of Cora, a young enslaved woman on a cotton plantation, who meets a newly arrived enslaved man named Caesar. Their meeting leads her on a journey North to freedom via the Underground Railroad, which, in the book, is a series of safe houses on secret routes in addition to a rail system built to help enslaved people escape their conditions and the institution of slavery. Cora’s owner discovers she has escaped and launches a search to get her back, largely in retaliation for another enslaved person who had previously escaped and never been found. The two must avoid discovery and decide who to trust on their journey to freedom. The series, cast by Francine Maisler and executive produced by Barry Jenkins, stars Chase W. Dillon, Thuso Mbedu, Aaron Pierre, Amber Gray, and Joel Edgerton. Production is set to start in August in Savannah, Georgia.

“At That Age”
NBC is about to add more emotional fodder to its programming. A Black American family deeply consumed by their multigenerational real estate business in Harlem finds themselves reeling from a catastrophic event. With the threat of long-held secrets coming to light, the seven family members must face a “foundational shift” that leads to brutal rivalries, personal dramas, and the struggle to maintain power against significant opposition. The hourlong pilot has already lined up its leads, including Emayatzy Corinealdi and Christian Keyes, with the help of Zuckerbrod/Thomas Casting. While production was set to start at the end of March, COVID-19 restrictions have pushed it to at least the fall, with official dates still pending. New York is set to host the project when it eventually goes into production later this year.

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This story originally appeared in the June 25 issue of Backstage Magazine. Subscribe here.