An all-star team is behind FX’s upcoming drama pilot “Kindred,” the network’s adaptation of Octavia E. Butler’s acclaimed 1979 novel.
FX announced on Wednesday that Janicza Bravo, who recently directed the heralded 2020 film “Zola,” will direct the FX show’s pilot episode. “Kindred” will be executive produced by Joe Weisberg and Joel Fields (showrunners on “The Americans”), as well as Darren Aronofsky, the director of “Black Swan” and “Mother!” Additional executive producers include Bravo, series writer Branden Jacobs-Jenkins (“Watchmen”), Courtney Lee-Mitchell, Ari Handel, Ernestine Walker, and Merrilee Heifetz.
The series’ cast includes Micah Stock, Ryan Kwanten, Gayle Rankin, Austin Smith, Antoinette Crowe-Legacy, and David Alexander Kaplan, who will join the previously announced Mallori Johnson as regulars on “Kindred.”
The synopsis for the original novel reads: Dana, a modern black woman, is celebrating her twenty-sixth birthday with her new husband when she is snatched abruptly from her home in California and transported to the antebellum South. Rufus, the white son of a plantation owner, is drowning, and Dana has been summoned to save him. Dana is drawn back repeatedly through time to the slave quarters, and each time the stay grows longer, more arduous, and more dangerous until it is uncertain whether or not Dana’s life will end, long before it has a chance to begin.
“Kindred” will mark the second television credit for Aronofsky, who is directing upcoming films “The Whale” and “Adrift,” both of which are in varying stages of production. He previously executive produced National Geographic’s “One Strange Rock” docuseries.
The series marks a return to television for Weisberg following the conclusion of FX’s “The Americans” in 2018; he was attached to a Freeform series called “Breckman Rodeo” in 2019, but Freeform declined to move forward with the project. As for Fields, he was also slated to executive produce “Breckman Rodeo” and also served as an executive producer on the acclaimed “Fosse/Verdon” limited series, which aired in 2019.
“Kindred” marks the latest in a string of television projects for Bravo, who also directed an episode of “Atlanta,” “Dear White People,” “Them,” and one episode of Amazon Prime Video’s “Forever.” She discussed her work on “Zola” in an interview with IndieWire in June.