Ava DuVernay and writer/director Victoria Mahoney are teaming up to adapt Octavia Butler’s sci-fi novel Dawn for Amazon. Mahoney, who recently directed parts of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, will direct the pilot and write the series, with DuVernay as one of the producers. If successful, this could be a long-running show based on Butler’s Lilth’s Brood trilogy, which begins with Dawn.
Butler is a legendary figure in sci-fi literature, but this will be the first screen adaptation of her work. The Lilith’s Brood trilogy is a futuristic sci-fi story beginning with a human woman, Lilith, waking up on an alien spaceship 250 years after an apocalyptic war on Earth. It’s an ambitious series exploring race, gender, and a clash between human and alien cultures.
DuVernay has been incredibly busy over the past couple of years, producing TV shows including Queen Sugar and the acclaimed Netflix miniseries When They See Us, and directing the upcoming DC Comics movie The New Gods. She and Mahoney both have an interest in sci-fi, following Mahoney’s work on Star Wars and DuVernay filming a pilot for the upcoming comic book adaptation DMZ, a dystopian drama starring Rosario Dawson.
This Butler project also continues DuVernay’s work championing women of color in the film and TV industry. Unlike most TV shows, DuVernay’s Queen Sugar recruited women of color to direct most episodes—including Victoria Mahoney, a long-established director best known for making the 2011 indie drama Yelling to the Sky. Dawn will be a rare example of a high-profile science fiction show based on a novel by a Black female author, developed by two Black women.