Amazon Studios has hopped on board with Macro Television Studios to partner with Ava DuVernay’s Array Filmworks to develop a TV adaptation of Octavia E. Butler’s 1987 sci-fi novel Dawn. Victoria Mahoney (Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Lovecraft Country) has been set as creator and will adapt and direct the pilot.
The project has been marinating for a while as Deadline exclusively reported that Macro, Array and Mahoney were developing the project in 2017. With Amazon on board, it seems that the project is gaining traction with development. The book, which was optioned by Macro, won a Hugo Award and tells the story of a black woman who works with aliens to resurrect the human race 250 years after a nuclear war.
The sci-fi genre is a good fit for Mahoney as she made history as the first woman (and woman of color for that matter) to direct a Star Wars film. In addition to serving as second unit director of the blockbuster franchise, she has directed numerous TV series including Veena Sud’s Netflix series Seven Seconds, Patty Jenkins’ TNT limited series I Am the Night, Netflix’s You, TNT’s Claws and HBO’s forthcoming horror series Lovecraft Country from J.J. Abrams, Misha Green and Jordan Peele. She also worked on the CBS drama The Red Line which DuVernay produced alongside Greg Berlanti.
Dawn also adds another notch on DuVernay belt when it comes to sci-fi and fantasy projects. In addition to riveting dramas like When They See Us and Selma, DuVernay directed the adaptation of the classic novel A Wrinkle In Time and is currently working on a big-screen version of DC Comics’ New Gods.
Butler was known to use sci-fi to address issues of race, gender and hierarchy. She blazed the trail for inclusive storytelling and made history as the first writer in the genre to be awarded the MacArthur Fellowship (aka the Genius Grant). Dawn is the first book in what has been called Butler’s “Lilith’s Brood” trilogy, which also includes 1988’s Adulthood Rites and 1989’s Imago.
Mahoney will also serve as an executive producer alongside DuVernay and Macro’s Charles D. King who has worked on Mudbound and Raising Dion. Allen Bain, Gary Pearl, Ted Smith and Thomas L.Carter will also executive produce while Marta Fernandez, President of Macro Television Studios, will oversee.
Mahoney and DuVernay are both repped by CAA and Nina Shaw.
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