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TV Adaptation of Octavia Butler’s Dawn Heading to Amazon

Ava DuVernay and Victoria Mahoney will bring the novel to the small screen.

octavia butler dawn amazon adaptation feature

After almost three years, we finally have more news about the highly-anticipated adaptation of Octavia Butler's Dawn. The Hollywood Reporter writes that the show has received a script-to-series order from Amazon Studios. Mahoney will write the script and direct the pilot, while DuVernay will serve as executive producer.

In 2017, sci-fi fans were thrilled to learn that A Wrinkle in Time director Ava DuVernay was attached to a TV adaptation of Dawn, the first book in Octavia Butler’s Xenogenesis series. At the time, it was announced that DuVernay would collaborate with producer Charles D. King and writer Victoria Mahoney. 

Both Mahoney and DuVernay have garnered considerable acclaim since their Dawn adaptation was first announced in 2017. Mahoney was the second unit director of 2019’s Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker, making her the first-ever woman to direct a Star Wars movie. DuVernay directed the award-winning Netflix Original series When They See Us, which explores the 1989 Central Park Five case. 

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Butler’s Dawn depicts the relationship between humanity and an alien species called the Oankali. Human woman Lilith Iyapo survives the cataclysm that devastates the rest of humanity. The Oankali rescued Lilith from a brutal death. But now that they have saved her, they want Lilith’s assistance in creating a new species, part-human and part-Oankali. Although initially repulsed and terrified, Lilith will soon question her assumptions.

The first book in the Xenogenesis trilogy (originally published as the ‘Lilith’s Brood’ series), Dawn explores compelling themes of identity and connection. 

Late sci-fi author Octavia Butler was a MacArthur Genius Grant Award-winner. Her speculative fiction stories, from the near-future Parable of the Sower series to her time travel novel Kindred, ask vital questions about race, gender, and the nature of inter-human connection. 

This isn’t the only Butler project expected to arrive on Prime. Binti author Nnedi Okorafor and writer/director Wanuri Kahiu are also collaborating on a series adaptation of Wild Seed for the streaming service. 

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Can’t wait for the adaptation of Dawn? Download the book today!