A few months after FX gave a pilot order to Kindred, a series based on the Octavia E. Butler novel of the same name, the network has found the director and lead actor for their adaptation. Janicza Bravo, who’s currently in the spotlight after directing the A24 film Zola, will serve as director and executive producer of the pilot, with newcomer and recent Juilliard graduate Mallori Johnson in the starring role. The Kindred pilot was written by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, who also wrote on HBO’s Watchmen, and production is set to begin in September.
Butler’s acclaimed science fiction novel follows Dana, a 26-year-old Black woman living in 1970s Los Angeles who finds herself suddenly and violently transported from her own life to a plantation in the pre-Civil War South. As she repeatedly travels through time between these two worlds, Dana begins to learn more about the secrets in her own complicated family history and its deep ties to her own experiences.
“I first read Kindred 20 years ago,” said Bravo. “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.”