The FX/Hulu’s upcoming series based on Octavia Butler’s Kindred has dropped its first trailer, which shows fear and anguish amid mysterious time travel.
The eight-episode series stars Mallori Johnson as a woman and writer who gets forcibly ping-ponged in between the present and America’s past of slavery. All the while, she is navigating an interracial relationship, which becomes even more complicated as she reckons with the racial violence embedded in her family.
According to the official description:
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.
The series also stars Micah Stock, Ryan Kwanten, Gayle Rankin, Austin Smith, David Alexander Kaplan, Sophina Brown and Sheria Irving.
Kindred is Johnson’s breakout debut role; as Shadow and Act reported in 2021, this marks Johnson’s first role since graduating from Julliard that year.
The series is written by Watchmen writer/producer and playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, who also serves as showrunner and executive producer. Joining him as executive producers are Protozoa Pictures’ Joe Wisberg, Joel Fields, Darren Aronofsky and Ari Handel. Courtney Lee-Mitchell and Jules Jackson also executive produce with Janicza Bravo, who directs the pilot.
Bravo talked about what it was like to sign on to ‘Kindred’ in 2021, saying in a statement that she felt represented when she read the book in college.
“I first read Kindred 20 years ago. I was in college. I hadn’t ever seen myself in a world like that. And certainly not at its center,” she said, as reported by Deadline. “What might seem like only a portrait of an invisible woman is also a potent embrace of our relationship to history and how it can bring us closer to our future. After what felt like losing over a year of the life I had come to know so well, an opportunity to direct an adaptation of this specific text was a win. On top of that getting to partner with Branden is something I’d been wanting for quite some time.”
Kindred will air exclusively on Hulu starting Dec. 13.