Here’s something exciting to pencil in on your list of upcoming shows to watch: FX has ordered its adaptation of Octavia Butler’s Kindred to series. The show has been in the works for less than a year; it was announced last March that the network had ordered a pilot for a potential series. Key cast and crew were brought on quickly, with director Janicza Bravo coming on to handle the pilot episode and Mallori Johnson tapped to star.
Kindred, which was originally published in 1979, is the story of Dana Franklin (Johnson), a young Black woman who finds herself mysteriously—and repeatedly—transported to the antebellum South. A press release for the adaptation explains:
FX’s adaptation of Kindred is centered on “Dana” (Johnson), 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 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.
Branden Jacobs-Jenkins (Watchmen) is showrunner, writer, and executive producer for Kindred, which has among its producers Darren Aronofsky (The Fountain, Black Swan) and The Americans creator Joe Weisberg. Along with Johnson, the show stars Micah Stock (Bonding), Ryan Kwanten (True Blood), Gayle Rankin (GLOW), Austin Smith (Hamilton), Antoinette Crowe-Legacy (Passing), and David Alexander Kaplan (Creepshow).
Kindred is the first of several currently in-the-works Butler adaptations to move from “in development” to “there’s a cast and a pilot and it’s really coming to a screen near you.” Dawn is in the works at Prime Video, with Ava DuVernay and Victoria Mahoney developing; and the streamer also announced an adaptation of Wild Seed, with Nnedi Okorafor and Wanuri Kahiu writing.
No release date has been announced for the eight episodes of Kindred just yet. Maybe put a big KINDRED sticker on your calendar so you can move it to the right date when the time comes.