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Zola helmer Janicza Bravo will direct the drama based on Octavia E. Butler’s classic sci-fi novel; she’ll also be an executive producer. Newcomer Mallori Johnson will play the lead role of Dana, a young woman who finds herself pulled back and forth in time.
Playwright and Watchmen veteran Branden Jacobs-Jenkins is adapting the book.
“I first read Kindred 20 years ago,” said Bravo. “I was in college. 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.”
Kindred centers on Dana, an aspiring writer who has uprooted her life of familial obligation and moved to Los Angeles to claim a future that for once feels all her own. Before she can get settled into her new home, however, she finds herself being violently pulled back and forth in time to a 19th century plantation with which she and her family are most 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 addition to the critically acclaimed Zola, Bravo’s directing credits include episodes of FX’s Atlanta and Mrs. America, HBO’s In Treatment and Amazon’s Forever and Them. She is repped by UTA, 2AM, ID and Lichter Grossman. Johnson, a recent Juilliard graduate, is repped by Brillstein Entertainment Partners.
FX Productions is behind Kindred. Executive producers are Jacobs-Jenkins, Courtney Lee-Mitchell (who holds rights to Butler’s book), Darren Aronofsky and Ari Handel of Protozoa Pictures, Joe Weisberg, Joel Fields, Ernestine Walker, Merrilee Heifetz and Bravo.
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