A24 Is Adapting Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower

A new adaptation of one of Octavia Butler’s books is on its way. Deadline reports that A24 has acquired the rights to her novels Parable of the Sower, and tapped Garrett Bradley to direct.

According to Deadline, A24 will finance and distribute the film, which will be produced by Paul Mezey. It will be Bradley’s first feature film—she has previously directed documentaries like Time and the just-released Naomi Osaka, and also worked as a second unit director for Netflix’s When they See Us. 

Sower is one of Butler’s best-known novels. Set in the year 2024, it follows a young African American woman named Lauren Oya Olamina who has a condition known as hyper-empathy. She grows up in a gated community in California while the world around her and her family has begun to devolve into chaos—there’s violence on the streets, public services have been privatized, and wildfires rage out of control.

When her family compound is attacked, she flees with a neighbor and begins to collect fellow refugees who are drawn to her and the religion that she’s begun to develop: Earthseed. The book is the first of two—it’s followed by Parable of the Talents. Butler had begun work on a third novel, Parable of the Trickster, but never finished it before her untimely death in 2006.

Butler has been experiencing something of a renaissance in recent years: Parable of the Sower hit The New York Times Bestseller List for the first time last year, and there are a handful of adaptations of her books in the works:  FX/Hulu is working on an adaptation of her novel Kindred, Ava Duvernay is working on an adaptation of her novel Dawn for Amazon, and Nnedi Okorafor is currently at work on an adaptation of Seed, set in Butler’s Patternist series.


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