First published in 1979, “Kindred” focuses on Dana James, a young Black aspiring writer living in Los Angeles with her husband Kevin Franklin. While in the process of moving, Dana abruptly finds herself tossed between the modern day and 1815 Maryland during the Antebellum period of the South. During her journeys to the past, she struggles to survive while trapped at a plantation owned by the wealthy Weylin family and ends up uncovering shocking secrets about her own family history. The book received critical acclaim upon its release, went on to become a bestseller, and has since become a frequent high school and college class selection.
The TV adaptation of “Kindred” stars Mallori Johnson as Dana and Micah Stock as Kevin, with Ryan Kwanten, Gayle Rankin, Austin Smith, David Alexander Kaplan, Sophina Brown, and Sheria Irving rounding out the cast. The series was developed for television by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, a playwright whose works “Gloria” and “Everybody” were selected as finalists for the Pulitzer Prize. In TV, he has worked as a consulting producer on HBO’s “Watchmen” series and Amazon Prime Video’s “Outer Range.”
Jacobs-Jenkins executive produces with “The Americans” creators Joe Weisberg and Joel Fields, Courtney Lee-Mitchell, Jules Jackson, and filmmaker Darren Aronofsky and Ari Handel for Protozoa Pictures. “Zola” director Janicza Bravo executive produced and helmed the pilot. The series is produced by FX Productions.
This is the first screen adaptation of any of Butler’s work. The author, who published her first stories in the ’70s and died in 2006, was one of the most acclaimed science fiction writers of her era and one of the most prominent Black authors working in the genre. Over the course of her career, she won several Hugo Awards and Nebula Awards and made history as the first sci-fi writer to receive a MacArthur Fellowship. Aside from “Kindred,” she’s also known for the 2005 vampire novel “Fledging” and the “Patternist,” “Lilith’s Brood,” and “Parable” series.
All eight episodes of “Kindred” Season 1 will premiere December 13 on Hulu. Watch the full trailer below.