Octavia E. Butler's Sci-Fi Novel Dawn May Be Coming to Amazon

Victoria Mahoney directs The Rise of Skywalker alongside J.J. Abrams.
Victoria Mahoney directs The Rise of Skywalker alongside J.J. Abrams.
Photo: Lucasfilm

Centuries after humanity has been all but destroyed by nuclear holocaust, a woman wakes up on an alien spaceship. She finds out the aliens that saved her want to help bring back the human race.


That’s the basic plot of Dawn, a 1987 novel by Octavia E. Butler, and Variety reports Ava DuVernay is teaming up with Victoria Mahoney to develop it into a series for Amazon. Mahoney will write the script and direct the pilot, with DuVernay’s company Array among the producers. The show has a script-to-series commitment, which means if Amazon likes the scripts, it skips the pilot step and just becomes a TV show.

DuVernay isn’t a filmmaker who needs an introduction these days. The director of Selma and A Wrinkle in Time is currently shooting the comic book adaptation DMZ for HBO Max starring Rosario Dawson. Mahoney is on her way to that status too. As the second unit director on Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, she became the first woman to direct a Star Wars movie. We’ll next see her work on the J.J. Abrams/Jordan Peele produced HBO show, Lovecraft Country.

If Dawn does get picked up, the show could run for several years based on its source material alone. It’s the first in what’s called The Xenogenesis Trilogy, followed by Adulthood Rites and Imago, published in 1988 and 1989 respectively. That always gets me: These fascinating stories have been sitting out there for decades, and yet so far no adaptations have made it to the screen. It seems though, it may finally be the dawn for one of them.

For more, make sure you’re following us on our Instagram @io9dotcom.



Mr. Underhill

After prodding from my wife I picked up the trilogy last month and couldn’t put it down. Octavia Butler’s writing was phenomenal. Fantastic world building but also a flawless description of the Oankali that managed to make them so alien but yet understandable. If done well this is going to rock.