Kindred, the TV adaptation of Octavia E. Butler‘s influential and most celebrated 1979 novel will premiere exclusively on Hulu on December 13. The new drama series will include eight episodes helmed by Watchmen alum Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, with Mallori Johnson playing the lead role of Dana James. The television series will shortly become accessible on Star+ in Latin America and Disney+ in all other markets under the Star name.
The announcement was made during a Kindred panel presentation at New York Comic-Con, which featured showrunner and executive producer Jacobs-Jenkins and several cast members. The “genre-breaking” series will center around Dana, a young Black woman and aspiring writer who has ditched her life of familial obligation and commitment and moved to Los Angeles, determined to pursue a future that feels entirely hers. However, before she can even adapt to her new place, she is forcibly thrown back and forth in time and discovers secrets “she never knew ran through her blood.” Dana becomes familiar with her ancestors during her unexpected journeys back in time, investigating the role of racial conflicts and power in her family history. She must now confront her current situation while understanding and trying to make sense of the interracial love affair that ties between her past and current life. The ground-breaking novel by the Hugo Award-winning author is being adapted for television in a way that combines science fiction with racial issues from the viewpoint of a Black woman in the 21st century.
Being a fan of the book, Jacobs-Jenkins shared via Entertainment Weekly that while his adaptation will not replace the original, it will delve further into some characters and settings. “It’s been about 40 years since the book was released. It’s about refreshing the themes and asking ourselves how they may have been challenged or expanded upon by the rich evolution of social thought since.”
Besides Johnson, the upcoming drama series also stars Micah Stock (The Right Stuff), Ryan Kwanten (Glorious), Gayle Rankin (GLOW), Austin Smith (Russian Doll), David Alexander Kapla (Stranger Things), Sophina Brown (The Orville), and Sheria Irving (A Luv Tale: The Series). Jacob-Jenkins executive produces the forthcoming series with Joe Weisberg (The Patient), Joel Fields (Gone in the Night), Darren Aronofsky (The Whale), and Ari Handel (Mother!), with Janicza Bravo (House Comes With a Bird) directing and executive producing the series’ pilot.
There are still more details to be revealed, but one thing is certain: the Kindred television adaptation will soon grace your screens on December 13 on Hulu. Stay tuned to Collider for more updates.