Before her death in 2006, Octavia E. Butler was known as a pioneer within Black literature. Novels like Fledlging and Parable of the Sower cemented her as the "Queen Mother of Science Fiction'' to many. However, Kindred is considered a hallmark of Butler's storied catalog of novels and is now getting a TV adaptation.
Released in 1979, the Hugo Award-winning story centers around interracial couple Dana James and Kevin Franklin, whose lives are turned upside down when Dana suddenly begins to travel between the present day and 1815's Maryland. In a time where American slavery was alive and well, Kindred uses sci-fi to reconstruct one of the nation's biggest atrocities through a contempoary lens.
FX is adapting the novel through an eight-episode limited series. Pulitzer Prize winner and Watchmen producer Branden Jacobs-Jenkins serves as series showrunner while Zola director Janicza Bravo directs the pilot. Here's everything that we know about Kindred.
Kindred release date
All eight episodes of Kindred release on Hulu Tuesday, December 13, in the US. The series is eventually going to be released on Disney Plus through the Star banner in the UK and other territories on a later date.
Best known for her role on WeCrashed, breakout star Mallori Johnson serves as lead character Dana in Kindred. Playing her on-screen husband Kevin is Micah Stock, who has had roles in The Right Stuff and Bonding.
Once Dana heads into the past, she'll be introduced to Stranger Things actor David Alexander Kaplan who plays Rufus, a young child of slave owners the Weylins. Glorious star Ryan Kwanten steps in the shoes of patriarch Thomas Weylin, while Gayle Rankin, known for her role in GLOW, is portraying matriarch Margaret Weylin.
Here is the official synopsis for Kindred from Hulu:
"Adapted from the celebrated novel Kindred, by Hugo Award-winner Octavia E. Butler, the FX series centers on Dana James (Mallori Johnson), a young Black woman and aspiring writer who has uprooted her life of familial obligation and relocated to Los Angeles, ready to claim a future that, for once, feels all her own. But, before she can settle into her new home, she finds herself being violently pulled back and forth in time. She emerges at a nineteenth-century plantation, a place remarkably and intimately linked with Dana and her family. An interracial romance threads through Dana’s past and present, and the clock is ticking as she struggles to confront secrets she never knew ran through her blood, in this genre-breaking exploration of the ties that bind."
Watch the trailer for Kindred released by FX below.
How to watch Kindred
While FX is the ones producing Kindred, the show is going to play exclusively on Hulu, much like recent shows The Patient and Fleishman Is in Trouble. As a result, you need a Hulu account to watch Kindred. But there are a handful of options to choose from if you don’t have Hulu already.
The first is to sign up to Hulu as a standalone streaming service, either with ads or without. You can also bundle Hulu with Disney Plus and ESPN Plus with the Disney Bundle. Finally, combine the Hulu streaming service with live TV with the aptly named Hulu with Live TV.
Upcoming Octavia E. Butler adaptations
Kindred is the first adaptation of many Octavia E. Butler novels set to get the film and television treatment. A24 won the rights to adapt Parable of the Sower, which was released in 1993 and became a New York Times bestseller. Meanwhile, Viola Davis' JuVee Productions has tapped From a Whisper director Wanuri Kahiu to head a series adaptation of Wild Seed. Finally, Ava DuVernay is producing a TV treatment of Butler's Dawn with Yelling at the Sky director Victoria Mahoney.
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Ural Garrett is an Inglewood,CA-based journalist and content curator. His byline has been featured in outlets including CNN, MTVNews, Complex, TechRadar, LA Weekly and more.