Ava DuVernay has another amazing project in the works. Deadline reports that the director, whose most recent creation is an adaptation of Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time, has picked up the novel Dawn by Octavia Butler to be turned into a TV show. DuVernay, along with Charles King's Macro and writer Victoria Mahoney, are bringing the 1987 science fiction novel to the small screen — the first time in Butler's career that her work has made it to TV.
Most notably, the novel (and upcoming TV series) follows an African American woman named Lilith Iyapo who works alongside aliens to bring back the human race following a nuclear war. The book is part of a trilogy, with Adulthood Rites and Imago following suit. It's unclear if DuVernay plans to take on the plot of those books as well, but no one would say no to more of a TV show by and about Black women.
While Butler died in 2006, she spent her life using science fiction to talk about race and gender, and was the first sci-fi writer to be given the MacArthur Fellowship — or, the Genius Grant. She was represented by the agent for the estate, Merrilee Heifetz of Writers House, LLC, with Gary Pearl, for this TV deal. Kim Roth, Poppy Hanks, Allen Bain, Gary Pearl, Thomas L. Carter and Teddy Smith will executive produce, and Macro, Forward Movement, Oil & Cattle and Bainframe will produce. The actual release of the TV show is still unknown.
This news follows the earlier announcement that DuVernay would also be directing a Netflix series about the Central Park Five based on the 1989 case that sent five innocent Black and Latino teenagers to jail. The director will certainly be busy in the coming year or so — and we'll be reaping the benefits.