Octavia Butler’s novel Kindred is coming to television.
According to Variety, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins will write and executive produce the pilot for FX. Courtney Lee-Mitchell will also executive produce with FX Productions, Darren Aronofsky and his Protozoa Pictures, The Americans creators Joe Weisberg and Joel Fields, Ernestine Walker and Merrilee Heifetz.
The pilot, like the book, will focus on a young Black woman who lives in the current time with her family, but is connected through time and space to a plantation in 1800s America. As she alternates between living her current life and life on the plantation, she realizes that she is connected to the past in more ways than she imagined. As reported by Variety, “[a]n 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.”
Jacobs-Jenkins said in a statement about his connection to the book after reading it nearly 20 years ago, saying “there have been few, if any, books and even fewer authors who have meant as much to me as Kindred and Octavia Butler.”
“It has been a highlight and honor of my career thus far to try and finally bring this timeless story to life–and especially at FX, whose catalogue of bold, thought-provoking, and cutting-edge television has been an endless source of inspiration and delight.”
Butler’s estate said in a statmeent how “thrilled” and “grateful” it was to give Mitchell the rights to adapting the book for television, and how Jacobs-Jenkins is, like Butler, the winner of the MacArthur Genius Award.
“FX could not be a better or more enthusiastic partner, as evidenced by the brilliant creative team they are building, and the legendary slate of shows they have produced,” the estate said. “We can’t wait to see this beloved work take its place among the stars in the FX universe.”