Aunjanue Ellis (The Birth of a Nation, Quantico) has officially joined the cast of Barry Jenkins’ next film If Beale Street Could Talk.  The drama is based on James Baldwin’s novel about Tish (newcomer KiKi Layne), a newly engaged Harlem woman who races against the clock to prove her lover’s innocence while carrying their first child to term.

Ellis joins an all-star cast including Finn Wittrock , Stephan James, Colman Domingo, Brian Tyree Henry, Dave Franco, Ed Skrein, and Regina King.

The film is currently in production.

Ellis has starred in countless classic films such as Men of Honor, The Caveman’s Valentine, Undercover Brother, The Help, and Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story.  Last year, she starred in the miniseries The Book of Negros, and received critical acclaim and a Critic’s Choice Award nomination for Best Actress in a Movie/Miniseries.  Most recently she has a leading role in the ABC thriller series Quantico, and was in Nate Parker’s period drama, The Birth of a Nation.