Octavia Butler‘s novel Kindred has been compared to 19th century slave narratives and Diana Gabaldon’s popular novel and TV show Outlander.

The Hollywood Reporter reports that “FX is adapting one of the most influential novels of the past 50 years. The Disney-owned cable network has ordered a pilot for Kindred, based on the book by Octavia E. Butler. Playwright and Watchmen consulting producer Branden Jacobs-Jenkins is writing the script and will executive produce Courtney Lee-Mitchell, who holds rights to the book, Darren Aronofsky (via his Protozoa Pictures) and The Americans creators Joe Weisberg and Joel Fields. FX Productions is the studio.”

Kindred is the story of Dana Franklin, a modern African-American woman, who finds herself traveling in time between 20th century California and antebellum Maryland, where she becomes involved in the lives of her own ancestors, both Black and white.

“The Octavia E. Butler Estate was thrilled and grateful to have placed Kindred with Courtney Lee-Mitchell at the outset, who brought it to Branden Jacobs-Jenkins (a young writer who shares with Octavia the rare honor of being a MacArthur ‘Genius’ Award recipient) and then to the terrific people at Protozoa,” the Octavia E. Butler Estate added. “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. We can’t wait to see this beloved work take its place among the stars in the FX universe.”

Kindred is considered one of Butler’s most powerful novels. We can only hope FX does it justice. Marvel’s Black Panther proved that if the script is good, “Black movies” appeal to white audiences as well. Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, the producer of the Emmy-winning The Watchmen mini-series, will be adapting the novel into a script for the pilot, so this reporter is confidently hopeful that he will do Butler’s novel justice.


Susan Macdonald
Susan Macdonald

Susan Macdonald is the author of the children’s book “R is for Renaissance Faire”, as well as 26 short stories, mostly fantasy in “Alternative Truths”, “Swords and Sorceress #30”, Swords &Sorceries Vols. 1, 2, & 5, “Cat Tails” “Under Western Stars”, and “Knee-High Drummond and the Durango Kid”. Her articles have appeared on SCIFI.radio’s web site, in The Inquisitr, and in The Millington Star. She enjoys Renaissance Faires (see book above), science fiction conventions,  Highland Games, and Native American pow-wows.