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L-R: Nnedi Okorafor, Viola Davis, Wanuri Kahiu. Image from Shadow and Act.

The American actress Viola Davis will be producing Nnedi Okorafor and the Kenyan filmmaker Wanuri Kahiu’s TV script for Octavia Butler’s novel Wild Seed, currently being developed by Amazon. The project is owned by JuVeee Production, the film company run by Davis and her husband Julius Tennon.

Here’s a description of the project, according to Deadline, via Shadow and Act:

Wild Seed is a love (and hate) story of two African immortals who travel the ages from pre-Colonial West Africa to the far, far future. Doro, a killer who uses his power to breed people like livestock, encounters Anyanwu, a healer who forces him to reassess his millennia of cruel behavior: for centuries, their personal battles change the course of our world as they struggle against the backdrop of time — master versus slave, man versus woman, killer versus healer.

“JuVee had pursued the rights to the book for over two years, but it wasn’t until they identified rising talent Kahiu, who was tapped to direct as well as write the pilot with her friend and colleague Okorafor, that the vision became clear on how to turn the beloved book into a TV show,” says the report. “With their idea for a TV series, and the Butler estate’s blessings, the project was taken to the marketplace with multiple bids.”

Wild Seed is a book that shifted my life,” said Davis. “It is as epic, as game changing, as moving and brilliant as any science fiction novel ever written. Julius and I are proud to have this masterpiece in our hands. It fullfills our promise and legacy to be disrupters. Octavia Butler was a visionary and we look forward to honoring the scope of her work and sharing it with the world.”

“We love Octavia Butler and her work and have for decades. But Wild Seed is our favorite,” Kahiu and Okorafor commented. “It’s expansive, disturbing, and unique. Wild Seed stays with you. It’s a love/hate story of African immortals that connects people on the African continent to the Diaspora. It merges the mystical and the scientific seamlessly. You’re going to see shape-shifting, body jumping, telepaths, people born with the ability to defy the laws of physics, all in the context of our past, present and future world.”

Okorafor’s 2011 World Fantasy Award-winning novel, Who Fears Death, is being developed by George R.R. Martins at HBO. Kahiu, meanwhile, is set to direct the YA adaptation The Thing About Jellyfish, starring Stranger Things actress Millie Bobby Brown.

 

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About Otosirieze Obi-Young

View all posts by Otosirieze Obi-Young
Otosirieze Obi-Young is Deputy Editor of Brittle Paper. He is a judge for the 2018/19 Gerald Kraak Prize and the 2019 Miles Morland Writing Scholarships. He is an editor at 14, Nigeria’s first queer art collective, which has published volumes including We Are Flowers (2017) and The Inward Gaze (2018). He is the curator of the Art Naija Series, a sequence of e-anthologies of writing and visual art focusing on different aspects of Nigerianness, including Enter Naija: The Book of Places (2016), which explores cities, and Work Naija: The Book of Vocations (2017), which explores professions. His fiction has appeared in The Threepenny Review and Transition. He has completed a collection of short stories, You Sing of a Longing, is working on a novel, and is represented by David Godwin Associates literary agency. He attended the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, where he got an M.A. in African Studies and a combined honours B.A. in History & International Studies and English & Literary Studies. He taught English at Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu. Find him at otosirieze.com, where he accepts writing and editing offers, or on Instagram or Twitter: @otosirieze. When bored, he Googles Rihanna.

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