FX Taps New Talent For Lead Role And Director of Upcoming Kindred
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FX Taps New Talent For Lead Role And Director of Upcoming Adaptation of Kindred by Octavia Butler

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BY July 23, 2021

There are many adaptations in the works based on the novels of the legendary Octavia Butler. Among these ongoing projects is an adaptation of Butler’s standalone novel Kindred. FX picked up the rights for Kindred earlier this year. At that time it was reported that Watchmen producer Branden Jacobs-Jenkins was writing the script for the adaptation. Now, both a director and a lead actress have been hired for the Kindred adaptation on FX. Let’s take a look at who will be working on the show, and where we might have seen them before.

A Time-Travel Story That Explores The Black Experience Across Generations

Octavia Butler Kindred Adaptation Image via Penguin Random House

Kindred is technically a science fiction story written by Octavia Butler in 1970. The novel focuses on a young black woman – Dana – who keeps spontaneously and uncontrollably time-traveling from the “modern-day” era of the 1970’s. Except she keeps ending up in 1800’s plantation-era Maryland where she is enslaved.

To add insult to some very real injuries, much of Dana’s purpose in the past is apparently to protect a young white boy. This boy eventually becomes a man who will have an impact on Dana’s own legacy and lineage.

Janicza Bravo Will Direct The Kindred Adaptation For FX

Kindred Director FX Photo by Robert Ascroft via IMDB

FX has found its director for the Kindred adaptation in Janicza Bravo. She most recently directed the film Zola, but the majority of her credits are in television directing.  Bravo has directed episodes of hit shows like AtlantaIn Treatment, and Dear White People. The director has spoken openly about the impact that Kindred has had on her own life, and the importance of representing black stories.

“I first read Kindred 20 years ago,” Bravo says. “I was in college, and 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. On top of that getting to partner with Branden is something I’d been wanting for quite some time.”

Starring in the Kindred adaptation for FX is newcomer Mallori Johnson. A recent graduate of the prestigious Juilliard school, this will be Johnson’s first acting role on-screen. While at Juilliard, Johnson appeared in a long list of plays including For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide, and had starring roles in plays like Romeo & Juliet, and In The Blood. We look forward to seeing Johnson bring the character of Dana to life onscreen in the FX adaptation of Kindred.

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Emily O'Donnell is a writer and photographer with roots in some of the earliest online fandoms. She cut her genre teeth on the Wizard of Oz books at the tender age of 6 years old, and was reading epic adult fantasy novels by the age of 10. Decades later, she still consumes genre fiction like there is no tomorrow. She is delighted to be living through the golden age of sci-fi and fantasy popularity. She is unashamed of the amount of fanfiction that still lingers online under her name.

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