EXCLUSIVE: A new dawn on the small screen is coming for Octavia E. Butler’s Dawn.
The classic 1987 science fiction novel by the Nebula- and Hugo Award-winning author has been picked up by Ava DuVernay, Charles D. King’s Macro and director-writer Victoria Mahoney for adaption into a television series, I’ve learned.
In what remarkably is the first time that Science Fiction Hall of Famer’s Butler’s work has been adapted for TV, Mahoney will pen the series about an African-American woman who works with aliens to resurrect the human race 250 years after a nuclear war. King and DuVernay will executive produced the Dawn series. The ex-WME partner and the A Wrinkle in Time director will be joined as EP by Kim Roth, Poppy Hanks, Allen Bain, Gary Pearl, Thomas L. Carter and Teddy Smith. King’s media company Macro, Forward Movement, Oil & Cattle and Bainframe will produce – the latter has been on the effort to bring Butler’s work to TV since 2015.
The estate of Butler, who died in 2006, was represented in this deal by the agent for the estate, Merrilee Heifetz of Writers House, LLC, with Gary Pearl.
A prolific author who used sci-fi to address issues of race, gender and hierarchy, among others, Butler in 1995 was the first writer in the genre to be awarded the MacArthur Fellowship aka the Genius Grant. Led by the aptly named character of Lilith Iyapo, Dawn is the first book in what has been called Butler’s Lilith’s Brood trilogy, which also includes 1988’s Adulthood Rites and 1989’s Imago.
Having recently announced the hourlong political drama Indivisible with CNN regular Van Jones, King’s Macro co-financed and produced the Oscar-winning Fences, directed by and starring Denzel Washington and Viola Davis, In addition to the film based on August Wilson’s Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize winning play, Macro has also produced and financed the Sundance contender Mudbound, among other projects.
With her Netflix-streamed documentary 13th nominated for eight Emmys this year, DuVernay is repped by CAA and Del, Shaw. Mahoney is repped by Verve, the Mission Entertainment and Hirsch Wallerstein.