Octavia E. Butler’s ‘Kindred’ adaptation coming to FX

The pilot, directed by Janicza Bravo, has led to an eight-episode series order

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Octavia E. Butler‘s Kindred is officially coming to FX. An adaptation of the acclaimed American author’s 1979 science fiction novel has gotten a series order.

The series comes from Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, playwright and producer of HBO’s 2019 series Watchmen, along with FX Productions. Jacobs-Jenkins will serve as the executive producer and showrunner of the series, with Janicza Bravo, who directed Zola, stepping in to direct and executive produce the pilot.

The pilot for the series was ordered in March of 2021 and was well-received by FX.

Branden Jacobs-Jenkins thegrio.com
Branden Jacobs-Jenkins attends the 2018 Steinberg Playwright Awards at Lincoln Center Theater on December 3, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images for Steinberg Playwright Awards)

Nick Grad, president, original programming at FX, shared in a statement per The Hollywood Reporter, “Branden Jacobs-Jenkins has done a phenomenal job of adapting Kindred for FX and honoring the legacy and timeless value of Octavia Butler’s groundbreaking novel.” Grad continued, “The pilot directed by Janicza Bravo is brilliant, and we can’t wait to resume production with this incredibly talented and dedicated cast.”

The official series synopsis, per The Hollywood Reporter, reads, “Kindred centers on Dana (Johnson), an aspiring writer who has uprooted her life of familial obligation and moved to Los Angeles to claim a future that for once feels all her own. Before she can get settled into her new home, however, 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.”

The series cast includes newcomer Mallori Johnson, Micah Stock, Ryan Kwanten, Gayle Rankin, Austin Smith, Antoinette Crowe-Legacy, and David Alexander Kaplan. The show will officially be eight episodes long, with Jacobs-Jenkins executive producing alongside Courtney Lee-Mitchell, Darren Aronofsky, Joe Weisberg, and Joel Fields.

72nd Writers Guild Awards - New York Ceremony - Inside
Branden Jacobs-Jenkins speaks onstage at the 72nd Writers Guild Awards at Edison Ballroom on February 01, 2020 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for Writers Guild of America, East)

Years after its initial publication in 1979, Kindred stands as one of Butler’s most popular works, having sold over a million copies. When reviewing the book, Linell Smith of The Baltimore Sun described it as, “a celebrated mainstay of college courses in women’s studies and black literature and culture; some colleges require it as mandatory freshman reading.” 

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