Two Other Barry Jenkins Projects Fell Through Before He Found Moonlight

Just because a script garners interest in Hollywood doesn’t mean it will actually ever get made into a movie. A lot of things must align in order for a film to actually make its way to a theater near you. This is something Barry Jenkins understands all too well. After finishing up his first film, “Medicine for Melancholy,” he started work on another project that involved time travel and Stevie Wonder, but the project would never see the light of day. 

An article for Indie Wire details how after the success of “Medicine for Melancholy,” the “Moonlight” and “If Beale Street Could Talk” director was hard at work on what seems to be a very unique script. The film was supposed to be made as part of a deal Jenkins had with Focus Features, where he was free to start work on any project he liked. It just so happened that his interests at the time involved iconic Black musicians and traveling back in time. He told Indie Wire, “Terence [Nance] was going to play a character loosely based on Madlib, and Solange [Knowles] played this free-thinking performance artist, and they both time-traveled back to 1972.”

However, after two years of work on the project, it never came to fruition even though Jenkins insists that, “it was really, really dope.” But just because this specific take on time travel never got made, that doesn’t mean Jenkins hasn’t managed to explore similar themes of time and the past in his other work. “Moonlight,” though not actually about going back in time, relies heavily on the theme of one’s past experiences influencing their present, and though Stevie does not make an appearance in “Moonlight,” the movie is still a wonder to behold.

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