Brad Pitt and Oprah to Produce Adaptation of Ta-Nehisi Coates’s The Water Dancer

Ta-Nehisi Coates, one of Oprah’s favorite things. Photo: Andy Kropa/Invision/AP/Shutterstock

Producer fairy godparents Brad Pitt and Oprah Winfrey are behind a film adaptation of Ta-Nehisi Coates’s The Water Dancer for MGM, per The Hollywood Reporter. Six years after coming together for the Oscar-nominated Selma, Pitt’s Plan B and Winfrey’s Harpo Films will produce alongside Kamilah Forbes, executive director of the Apollo Theater. Forbes directed the stage adaptation of Coates’s Between the World and Me as well as the upcoming HBO special featuring Winfrey, Academy Award nominee Angela Bassett, Tony Award winners Phylicia Rashad and Courtney B. Vance, and many more prominent Black stars. Coates has adapted The Water Dancer for the screen himself. The novel follows Hiram Walker, born into slavery and possessing a photographic memory, though he is unable to remember his mother. After miraculously surviving a carriage accident, he discovers he has a superhuman ability called conduction, which allows him to transport himself and others. In his journey to uncover memories of his mother and discover his mysterious power, he becomes involved in the Underground Railroad and meets history-makers. “I’m honored to be working with Harpo, Plan B and my old friend Kamilah Forbes,” Coates said in a statement. “We all believe that MGM is the best home for this adaptation and look forward to bringing it to life.”

Brad Pitt, Oprah to Produce Adaptation of The Water Dancer