FX has given a series order to Kindred, an adaptation of Octavia E. Butler’s influential novel, with newcomer Mallori Johnson set to star. The project, which received a pilot order in July, hails from writer Branden Jacobs-Jenkins (Watchmen), Courtney Lee-Mitchell (The Reluctant Fundamentalist), Darren Aronofsky and his Protozoa Pictures (Black Swan, The Wrestler), Joe Weisberg (The Americans) and Joel Fields (Fosse/Verdon). The eight-episode series will be produced by FX Productions.
Written by Jacobs-Jenkins, 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.
Micah Stock, Ryan Kwanten, Gayle Rankin, Austin Smith, Antoinette Crowe-Legacy and David Alexander Kaplan also star.
The novel, which sold over a million copies, has been hailed as a visionary work of science fiction since it was first published more than four decades ago in 1979.
Jacobs-Jenkins also serves as showrunner and executive produces with Lee-Mitchell, Aronofsky, Ari Handel, Weisberg, Fields, Ernestine Walker and Merrilee Heifetz. The pilot is directed and executive produced by Zola director and co-writer Janicza Bravo.
“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,” said Nick Grad, President, Original Programming FX. “The pilot directed by Janicza Bravo is brilliant and we can’t wait to resume production with this incredibly talented and dedicated cast.”