FX Is Adapting Octavia Butler’s Kindred

FX is adapting one of Octavia Butler’s best-known novels: Kindred. The Hollywood Reporter says that the network has ordered a pilot for a potential series, which will be written by MacArthur Fellow Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, who served as a consulting producer on HBO’s Watchmen.

Butler published her novel in 1979, following a young woman named Dana who begins moving through time between her present in Los Angeles and the past on a Southern Plantation.

When she first jumps back in time, she comes across a young boy, Rufus, who’s drowning in a river, and saves him. She’s soon jumping back and forth in time, each time meeting Rufus—Dana realizes that she’s meeting her ancestors, and is forced to deal with the revelations that brings.

In a statement, Butler’s Estate said that it 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 [Pictures, (Darren Aronofsky’s film outfit)].”

“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.”

If it makes it all the way through the development and pilot process, the series will join a two other Butler adaptations in the works: Ava DuVernay has been working on an adaptation of her novel Dawn for a couple of years at Amazon, while Nnedi Okorafor is penning an adaptation of her Patternist series (also for Amazon).

Hopefully, this means that we’re about to see a new renaissance of—and recognition for—Butler’s works, which has been building in recent years. 2020 marked the first time one of her novels found itself on The New York Times bestseller list, fourteen years after she passed away.


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