When Ava DuVernay announced her collaboration with Victoria Mahoney and Amazon to develop a series adaptation of Octavia E. Butler’s 1987 novel Dawn, it was only a matter of time before Butler’s other works would journey to the small screen as well. According to Variety, Watchmen consulting producer, playwright, and Pulitzer Prize for Drama finalist Branden Jacobs-Jenkins will write and executive produce a pilot based on Butler’s 1979 book Kindred for FX. But while Dawn follows a Black woman to the future to restore the human race with a little help from alien visitors, Kindred follows its Black protagonist back to America’s slave-holding past to aid her ancestors.
Per Variety, the show will follow “Dana, a young Black woman and aspiring writer who has uprooted her life of familial obligation and relocated to Los Angeles, ready to claim a future that, for once, feels all her own. But, before she can get settled into her new home, she finds herself being violently pulled back and forth in time to a nineteenth-century plantation with which she and her family are most surprisingly and intimately linked.”
Jacobs-Jenkins will be joined by fellow executive producers Courtney Lee Mitchell, who Variety notes “acquired the rights to the novel in 2008,” The Americans creators Joe Weisberg and Joel Fields, and Darren Aronofsky.
“The Octavia E. Butler Estate was thrilled and grateful to have placed Kindred with Courtney Lee Mitchell at the outset, who brought it to Branden Jacobs Jenkins (a young writer who shares with Octavia the rare honor of being a MacArthur ‘Genius’ Award recipient) and then to the terrific people at Protozoa,” the author’s estate said in a statement. “FX could not be a better or more enthusiastic partner, as evidenced by the brilliant creative team they are building, and the legendary slate of shows they have produced. We can’t wait to see this beloved work take its place among the stars in the FX universe.”