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Octavia Butler’s Wild Seed to Be Adapted for the Small Screen

A creative team including Nnedi Okorafor and Viola Davis will bring the sci-fi novel to life. 

Viola Davis' production company is set to adapt Octavia E. Butler's 1980 science fiction novel Wild Seed for the small screen.  The series will be produced by Juvee Production, the Los Angeles company led by actors Viola Davis and Julius Tennon, for Amazon Prime Video. The screenplay will be written by science fiction and fantasy author Nnedi Okorafor and filmmaker Wanuri Kahiu. Kahiu, a Kenyan filmmaker, received acclaim in 2018 for her work as writer/director on Rafiki, a love story about two queer Kenyan women falling for each other despite the disapproval of their strict families. 

RELATED: 16 Impactful Female Science Fiction and Fantasy Authors 

Wild Seed was the fourth book published in Butler’s acclaimed Patternist series, but the first book in the series chronologically. The saga follows two immortals from Africa: Doro, a killer who steals the bodies of others to use them for his immortal purposes, and Anyanwu, a shapeshifting healer. The two opposed beings struggle to live together throughout generations, as Doro reshapes the world of mortals via a selective breeding program. 

Wild Seed

By Octavia E. Butler

In a Deadline report, Okorafor and Kahiu said Wild Seed is their favorite Butler work as “it merges the mystical and the scientific seamlessly. You’re going to see shape-shifting, body-jumping, telepaths, people born with the ability to defy the laws of physics, all in the context of our past, present and future world.” Davis explained, "Octavia Butler was a visionary and we look forward to honoring the scope of her work and sharing it with the world.”

RELATED: 14 Octavia Butler Books: The Complete Canon 

RELATED: Samuel R. Delany and Others on Octavia Butler's Legacy 

Butler was a pioneer of Afrofuturist fiction. She received many accolades and honors in her lifetime, including multiple Hugo and Nebula awards, and the first-ever MacArthur Genius Grant awarded to a sci-fi writer. But despite her acclaim, it has taken a long time for the adaptation potential of her seminal sci-fi to be recognized. Although a Butler work has yet to fully make the transition from page to screen, this isn’t the only adaptation of Butler’s work currently in development—as of 2017, director Ava DuVernay was developing a TV series based on the novel Dawn

There's no release date set for Dawn yet, but we will be impatiently waiting. 

Can't wait for the series? Check out more of Butler's works below!

Seed to Harvest

By Octavia E. Butler

Unexpected Stories

By Octavia E. Butler


By Octavia E. Butler


By Octavia E. Butler

[via Book Riot] 

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Featured photo: Patti Perret, photograph of Octavia E. Butler seated by her bookcase, 1986. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens

Published on 03 Apr 2019

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