The Scent Of Burnt Flowers TV Adaptation, Starring Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Lands At FX

A competitive bidding war between networks for rights to the TV adaptation of "The Scent of Burnt Flowers" concluded with FX landing a deal for the six-episode limited series (via Deadline).

Based on Blitz Bazawule's ("The Burial of Kojo," "Black is King") upcoming novel of the same name, the "Scent of Burnt Flowers" adaptation will be written, directed, and produced by Bazawule himself under his newly-launched banner, Inward Gaze. Currently, Emmy winner Yahya Abdul-Mateen ("Candyman," "The Matrix Resurrections") is attached to the project, and he is also set to executive produce under his production banner House Eleven10, alongside Macro Television Studios.

'Political intrigues, magical encounters, & forbidden romance'

"The Scent of Burnt Flowers" centers on a Black couple, Melvin and Bernadette — who are fleeing persecution in 1960s America, on their way to seek asylum in Ghana — and the dangers they encounter on their path to newfound freedom. Forced to disguise themselves in order to ensure safe passage, the couple seeks help from the Ghanaian president and has a chance encounter with a highlife musician, Kwesi Kwayson. The encounter with Kwesi sparks a string of events steeped in a wide variety of emotions, wherein the three must be honest with one another, and mostly, themselves. The official synopsis for the book reads as follows:

"Steeped in the history and mythology of postcolonial West Africa at the intersection of the civil rights movement in America, this gripping and ambitious debut merges political intrigue, magical encounters, and forbidden romance in an epic collision of morality and power."

Abdul-Mateen will be playing Kwesi in the series, and the character's presence is meant to trigger a merger between history and magic realism, elevating the tale to something out of the ordinary. The actor's involvement, along with the sheer merit of the narrative alone, is a big win for FX, and Bazawule's direct involvement will hopefully work in favor of the adaptation. Abdul-Mateen's next projects include Michael Bay's "Ambulance," and Bazawule is set to go into production for his reimagining of the Warner Bros. musical feature adaptation of "The Color Purple." Bazawule is also known for his acclaimed work on Beyonce's visual album, "Black is King," which was released on Disney+.

Charles D. King, Marta Fernandez, and Ahmadou Seck are set to executive produce for Macro Television Studios, alongside Gaby Mena and Natalia Williams of M88.

Bazawule's book, "The Scent of Burnt Flowers," is set to publish on June 28, 2022, via Ballantine Books/Penguin Random House. There's no news yet regarding a release date for FX's TV adaptation.