, 2022-12-15 07:01:00,
In September 2020, 14 years after her death, Octavia Butler finally achieved one of her lifelong goals: to become a bestselling author.
“Some might say she was ahead of her time,” says Branden Jacobs-Jenkins. “And I feel like this is the time that she was ahead of.”
Jacobs-Jenkins is the showrunner—as well as an executive producer and writer—on Kindred, FX’s new miniseries adaptation of Butler’s 1979 novel of the same name. (Jacobs-Jenkins was also a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2018, a MacArthur Fellow in 2016, and picked up an Obie Award for Best New American Play in 2014.)
The book follows Dana, a Black 26-year-old writer, from her home in California to the antebellum South. Time moves differently between the centuries, and over the span of a few days in 1976—or decades in the early 19th century—an unknown force yanks Dana back in time repeatedly. Anyone touching Dana at the moment of her time travel—like her husband, Kevin, who is white—gets snatched back with her.
The FX miniseries is the first of its kind, although several other Butler adaptations for the screen are now in the works: Viola Davis and her husband Julius Tennon are developing Wildseed for Amazon Prime Video, A24 won the rights to Parable of the Sower, and HBO is adapting Fledgling.
Jacobs-Jenkins’ show is a modern…
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