Ava DuVernayAva DuVernay
is adding another television project to her impressive, ever-expanding oeuvre. The creator of “Queen Sugar
” and writer-director of the upcoming Central Park Five
miniseries will be turning Octavia E. Butler
’s classic science fiction novel “Dawn” into a series, Deadline confirms. The project will see DuVernay team up with “Yelling to the Sky
” and “Queen Sugar
” director Victoria Mahoney
and producer Charles D. King
,” Dee Rees
Published in 1987, “Dawn” centers on Lilith Iyapo, a black woman who is one of the few survivors of a nuclear war. In order to save humanity from total extinction, Lilith works with the aliens who now inhabit the earth, the Oankali. “Dawn” is the first book of Butler’s “Lilith’s Brood” trilogy, also known as the Xenogenesis series. The sequels “Adulthood Rites” and “Imago” were published in 1988 and 1989, respectively.
It’s unclear whether “Adulthood Rites” and “Imago” will also be adapted for TV.
Mahoney will write the series adaptation of “Dawn,” while DuVernay and King will serve as executive producers. Also exec producing are Kim Roth
, Poppy Hanks
, Allen Bain
, Gary Pearl
, Thomas L. Carter
, and Teddy Smith
. The project’s producers include King’s company MacRo
, Forward Movement
, and Oil & Cattle.
This project seems to be a bit of a dream come true for DuVernay. “I’m a big Octavia Butler
fan,” the “Selma
” director previously said. “So if somebody gave me the rights to ‘Kindred,’ I would make that hot. I’m just putting that out there.”
“Kindred” is a time-travel narrative about a young black woman named Dana, who constantly goes back and forth between pre-Civil War Maryland
and 1976 California.
Butler, who died in 2006, received both the Hugo and Nebula Awards for her contributions to science fiction. She also won the MacArthur Fellowship in 1995, becoming the first science fiction writer to achieve the honor. Besides “Kindred” and “Lilith’s Blood,” Butler’s other notable works include the short story “Bloodchild,” the Parable series, the Patternist series, and the standalone novel “Fledgling.”
“I grew up in a matriarchy, in a family of all women. I don’t understand a structure where women aren’t making decisions; that’s a foreign thing for me,” DuVernay stated recently. “Not that you can’t work with men, but the fact that there would be such an imbalance to any kind of process, whether government or industry, is uncomfortable for me. When I was able to dictate what my space would be and who I would be around and who would be around me, I was just striving for balance.”
” aired its midseason finale August 2. The rest of the show’s second season will air later in 2017. All of the episodes from the series’ first and second seasons have been helmed by women. The Own show was recently renewed for a third season.
DuVernay’s much-anticipated film adaptation of Madeleine L’Engle’s “A Wrinkled in Time” hits theaters March 9, 2018. Oprah Winfrey
, Reese Witherspoon
, Mindy Kaling
, Storm Reid
, and Chris Pine
Bringing Octavia E. Butler
Novel “Dawn” to TV was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.