Earlier this spring, FX announced it had ordered a new television series pilot based on the late Octavia E. Butler’s iconic novel Kindred.
Well we have more major news to report! Janicza Bravo, who has been getting extra attention since her much-buzzed-about flick Zola debuted recently, has signed on to direct the pilot episode. Plus, the upcoming series has also found its star—newcomer Mallori Johnson, who recently graduated from the highly respected Juilliard School. We love a major project introducing us to a potential star-in-the-making!
“I first read Kindred 20 years ago,” Bravo, who will also executive produce, said in a statement. “I was in college. I hadn’t ever seen myself in a world like that. And certainly not at its center. What might seem like only a portrait of an invisible woman is also a potent embrace of our relationship to history and how it can bring us closer to our future. After what felt like losing over a year of the life I had come to know so well, an opportunity to direct an adaptation of this specific text was a win. On top of that getting to partner with [episode writer] Branden [Jacobs-Jenkins (Watchmen)] is something I’d been wanting for quite some time.”
Here’s the scoop, via Deadline:
Johnson will play the central character 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. 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, in this genre-breaking exploration of the ties that bind.
The novel, which sold over a million copies, has been hailed as a visionary work of science fiction since it was first published more than four decades ago in 1979.
Production is set to begin in September and our Black sci-fi-hungry bodies are ready!