9 Aug

Ava DuVernay Adapting Octavia Butler’s ‘Dawn’ for TV Series

by Shadow & Act


Ava DuVernay with another one!

It was announced Wednesday that the filmmaker has another stellar project on the way. This time, she’s teaming up with Charles D. King’s Macro Ventures and acclaimed director/writer Victoria Mahoney for a television adaptation of Octavia Butler’s science-fiction novel, Dawn. 

Shadow & Act exclusively broke the news exclusively in 2015 that Dawn was in development as a TV series, in an interview with Allen Bain.

Ava DuVernay (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images); Victoria Mahoney (Francois Durand/Getty Images)

This will be the first of Butler’s works to be developed for television.

In Dawn, after war has culminated in a nuclear apocalypse and the near extermination of the human race, the survivors are rescued by an alien species and kept in suspended animation on an Earth-like spaceship. Lilith Iyapo, a black woman, is the first to be awakened and is chosen to lead her people into an uncertain future. She is faced with a choice: adapt or die. But, what good is survival if it comes at the cost of humanity?

Mahoney will write, with King and DuVernay executive producing along with Kim Roth, Poppy Hanks, Allen Bain, Gary Pearl, Thomas L. Carter and Teddy Smith. MACRO, Forward Movement, Bainframe and Oil & Cattle will produce.

Butler was the first science fiction writer to win a MacArthur “Genius Grant” Fellowship and is often referred to as the “grande dame of science fiction.” Her prolific work garnered two Hugo Awards, two Nebula Awards and the PEN Lifetime Achievement Award.  Butler died in 2006 and was posthumously inducted into The Science Fiction Hall of Fame in 2010.

This adds another project to DuVernay’s packed slate. She’s working on a Central Park Five miniseries for Netflix, A Wrinkle in Time premieres in 2018,  Queen Sugar got renewed at OWN  and she has a first-look deal to develop programming with Harpo Films.

Also of note, we broke the newsin 2013 that Ernest Dickerson was shopping an adaptation of Octavia Butler’s “Clay’s Ark.” No word on whether that’s still in the works. At the time, he couldn’t raise the funds.

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