Octavia E. Butler Film Adaptations 🎥

Books by Octavia E. Butler essentially cut across two literary tropes in historical science fiction and horror as can be seen with her masterpiece ‘Kindred’. This makes her books all the more easier for remaking on the big screen.

Octavia E. Butler

American science-fiction writer

No doubt Octavia E. Butler was a brilliant writer whose stories are ever so graphic, but a book’s vastness in scope and richness in the story is hardly the only requirements needed for a successful book-to-film adaptation as there are other aspects – including budgeting and the willingness of film production companies to take interest in it. But, there are a few of Butler’s works currently being developed into films and graphic novels. Let’s take a look.

Adaptation of Parable of the Sower

Octavia E. Butler’s award-winning novel ‘Parable of the Sower’ is one of her many books that has been given the green light to be made into a film. As of July of 2021, the book’s concept had already been carried into the production studio and developed thanks to A24 studios – a fairly high-end company that’s also responsible for producing great films like ‘Midsommar’ and ‘The Green Knight’.

Piloting the process is no other than Garrett Bradley who sits in as the director – following his fine track record – including a documentary called ‘Time’ which was so praised it ended up being an Academy Award nominee. The film is still in the process of being made, so not much information can be gleaned about it at the moment.

Still, readers should expect as much dystopian thriller as can be seen in Butler’s s original piece – which tells the story of young, displaced Lauren Olamina, who watches helplessly as the world around her is destroyed by social alternation and instabilities, but she finds the courage deep within to create a movement (Earthseed) and lead her kind to reclaim everything that’s ever taken away from them.

Fledgling Goes to Screen

Fledgling’ is another book by Octavia E. Butler which is currently being developed as a test trial by HBO. The entertainment big dog brought on board as executive producers J.J. Abrams and Issa Rae for the making of Butler’s vampire novel on a pilot basis.

The original book by Octavia E. Butler was published in 2005 and was the author’s last ever book written before her death the following year. The film looks to stay true to the original book – which follows the story of an amnesiac girl who finds out she’s been genetically modified into a vampire after she notices an unquenchable craving for human blood. Shori must do what she can to stay alive, deal with her enemies, and protect her family.

Kindred Gets a Trial Run

Kindred by Octavia Estelle Butler Digital Art

The book-to-screen adaptation of Octavia E. Butler’s highly rated work ‘Kindred’ is championed by FX, as the company announced in 2021 that the book is being worked on in the studios. The crew includes some really interesting personalities starting with Branden Jacob-Jenkins. They, like Octavia E. Butler, had also won the MacArthur prize and would be responsible for writing and Executive producing the film.

Janicza Bravo, who did excellently with films such as ‘Lemon’ and ‘Zola’, is billed to fill in as director, with the youngster, Mallori John, playing the lead role for the series. Just as in Octavia E. Butler’s original novel, the film is tipped to stay true to the narrative – although viewers should expect a small tweak here and there just to make it more screen-worthy, but, other than that, there shouldn’t be any serious alterations.

The plot stays the same and should follow the story of 26 years old Edana (Dana) Franklin, a Black woman who is married to Kelvin, a white man – despite the cultural segregation existing between both races. With the couple moving to Altadena, Dana begins experiencing fits of time travel, starting with how she goes back to the 1800s to save a drowning little white boy, Rufus, who happens to be her direct ancestor.

She continues these trips through time and every time to save Rufus, but with Rufus now grown and turning cruel himself, she soon realizes that she might have to kill him, but this also comes with the risk that she may never get to be born in the future.


What other books by Octavia E. Butler are in the movies?

Dawn’ by Octavia E. Butler is currently under production since July of 2021.

Where can one watch ‘Kindred’ by Octavia E. Butler?

Kindred’ by Octavia E. Butler is still very much in the making in the studios and can’t be watched at the moment until it’s been released.

Which Octavia E. Butler’s novels are not yet in the film studios?

Amnesty’ is one interesting Octavia E. Butler’s interesting novel that hasn’t been marked for adaptation just yet.

Victor Onuorah
About Victor Onuorah
Victor is as much a prolific writer as he is an avid reader. With a degree in Journalism, he goes around scouring literary storehouses and archives; picking up, dusting the dirt off, and leaving clean even the most crooked pieces of literature all with the skill of analysis.
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