Octavia E. Butler is forever—and we’re here for her work to be highlighted in every single medium.
Well, according to The Hollywood Reporter, FX has ordered a pilot for an upcoming series called Kindred, based on the acclaimed book by Butler of the same name. Playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, who served as consulting producer on HBO’s Watchmen, will pen the pilot script. Courtney Lee-Mitchell, acquired the rights to the book in 2008, will serve as executive producer along with Darren Aronofsky (Protozoa Pictures) as well as The Americans co-creators Joe Weisberg and Joel Fields.
More info on the upcoming series, via THR:
FX’s take on Kindred will center on Dana, a young Black woman and aspiring writer who has left her life of familial obligation and moved to Los Angeles. But before she can get settled into her new home, she finds herself being violently pulled back and forth in time to a 19th century plantation with which she and her family are most surprisingly and intimately linked. An interracial romance threads through her past and present, and the clock is ticking as she struggles to confront the secrets she never knew ran through her blood.
“Since my first encounter with the novel nearly two decades ago, there have been few, if any, books and even fewer authors who have meant as much to me as Kindred and Octavia Butler,” Jacobs-Jenkins said in a statement. “It has been the highlight and honor of my career thus far to try and finally bring this timeless story to life — and especially at FX, whose catalog of bold, thought-provoking, and cutting-edge television has been an endless source of inspiration and delight.”
In 2020, The Glow Up Managing Editor Maiysha Kai wrote the following relevant passage, in regards Butler’s dream and legacy living on when her 1993 novel Parable of the Sower (the first, of a series of books) reached the New York Times List:
To call Butler prophetic would be an understatement. Aside from predicting her arrival at bestseller status, the science fiction writing pioneer, who was first published almost a half-century ago in the early 1970s and tragically died after a fall in 2006, has long been considered one of the best to ever do it. But despite being the first sci-fi author to receive a MacArthur Genius Grant, as well as a Lifetime Achievement Award by the PEN American Center and posthumous induction into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame, as a Black female writer, Butler was still a relative anomaly in the genre at the time of her untimely death at age 58. In the years since, an exciting cadre of Black female sci-fi and fantasy writers has followed in her stead, including N.K. Jemisin, Nnedi Okorafor and Tomi Adeyemi.
As we continue to uplift and preserve her legacy, it is also especially important to note that Butler’s state is in full support of this upcoming adaptation.
“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 Octavia E. Butler 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.”
We can’t wait to see it, either!