Amazon Studios and MACRO Television Studios have partnered with Ava DuVernay’s ARRAY Filmworks to bring Nebula- and Hugo Award-winning author Octavia Butler’s classic 1987 science-fiction novel, “Dawn,” to the small screen.
In what remarkably is the first time that the Science Fiction Hall of Famer’s work has been adapted, Victoria Mahoney, who served as second unit director on “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,” will pen the series and will also direct the pilot.
“Dawn” is the first book in Butler’s “Lilith’s Brood” trilogy (formerly “Xenogenesis”). It tells the story of an African-American woman who enlists the help of aliens to resurrect the human race, 250 years after a nuclear war. Its official synopsis reads:
Lilith Iyapo has just lost her husband and son when atomic fire consumes Earth — the last stage of the planet’s final war. Hundreds of years later Lilith awakes, deep in the hold of a massive alien spacecraft piloted by the Oankali — who arrived just in time to save humanity from extinction. They have kept Lilith and other survivors asleep for centuries, as they learned whatever they could about Earth. Now it is time for Lilith to lead them back to her home world, but life among the Oankali on the newly resettled planet will be nothing like it was before.
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The project seems like a logical next move for Mahoney, who made history last year as the first woman (and woman of color) to direct a “Star Wars” film, albeit as a second unit director. Her other credits include directing episodes of numerous TV series including Veena Sud’s Netflix series “Seven Seconds,” Patty Jenkins’ TNT limited series “I Am the Night,” Netflix’s “You,” TNT’s “Claws” and HBO’s forthcoming horror series “Lovecraft Country” from J.J. Abrams and Jordan Peele.
Although she’s worked primarily in television, Mahoney started out as a filmmaker. Her feature film debut “Yelling to the Sky” (2011), which starred Zoë Kravitz, Tim Blake Nelson, Jason Clarke, premiered at the Berlin Film Festival and went onto the SXSW Film Festival. It received a limited theatrical release in December 2012.
“Dawn” is the first project she’ll be developing from the start.
MACRO previously optioned the rights to “Dawn” in 2017. The adaptation has received a script-to-series order from Amazon Studios, although no expected production or premiere dates are specified. Mahoney will executive produce alongside DuVernay, Charles D. King, Allen Bain, Gary Pearl, and Thomas L. Carter. Marta Fernandez, President of MACRO Television Studios, will oversee for MACRO Television Studios.