dawn tv series

Ava DuVernay is teaming up with the first female Star Wars director Victoria Mahoney to develop a new sci-fi project at Amazon. DuVernay and Mahoney are developing a Dawn TV series based on the Octavia E. Butler 1987 sci-fi novel of the same name which follows an African-American woman who works with aliens to resurrect the long-dead human race.

Variety reports that Ava DuVernay and Victoria Mahoney are teaming up to develop a Dawn TV series at Amazon, adapting Octavia E. Butler’s 1987 sci-fi novel for the small screen. Mahoney, who made headlines last year as the first woman to direct a Star Wars film — taking on the role of the second unit director on Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker — will write the series as well as direct the pilot. DuVernay’s Array banner will be producing the series alongside Macro Television Studios, which had previously optioned the rights for the award-winning book

Dawn is set 250 years after a nuclear war has wiped out all of humanity except for a handful of survivors saved by an alien species. Lillith, an African-American woman, works with the aliens to resurrect humanity in a three-part apocalytpic trilogy published by Butler in 1987, 1988, and 1989 (Dawn, Adulthood Rites, and Imago, respectively). The series explores themes of “sexuality, gender, and race,” according to Variety.

Here is the synopsis for Butler’s Dawn novel:

Lilith Iyapo has just lost her husband and son when atomic fire consumes Earth—the last stage of the planet’s final war. Hundreds of years later Lilith awakes, deep in the hold of a massive alien spacecraft piloted by the Oankali—who arrived just in time to save humanity from extinction. They have kept Lilith and other survivors asleep for centuries, as they learned whatever they could about Earth. Now it is time for Lilith to lead them back to her home world, but life among the Oankali on the newly resettled planet will be nothing like it was before. The Oankali survive by genetically merging with primitive civilizations—whether their new hosts like it or not. For the first time since the nuclear holocaust, Earth will be inhabited. Grass will grow, animals will run, and people will learn to survive the planet’s untamed wilderness. But their children will not be human. Not exactly.

With an ambitious sci-fi premise and a diverse lead character (one named after the fallen first woman in the Bible at that!) it’s no wonder that Dawn appealed to DuVernay, who seems to be using her clout to boost another minority filmmaker. Mahoney too seems to be benefiting from the influence of her Star Wars gig, taking the lead for Dawn after years of helming episodes of Grey’s Anatomy, American Crime, Claws, Power, You, and I Am the Night. It was on the OWN series Queen Sugar that Mahoney made her connection with DuVernay, who created the series. Mahoney made her feature film debut in 2011 with Yelling to the Sky.

No cast or release date has yet been set for Dawn.

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