Sonya Winton-Odamtten & Jonathan I. Kidd Score HBO Pilot Script Order For Series Adaptation Of Octavia Butler’s ‘Fledgling’; Issa Rae & J.J. Abrams To EP

EXCLUSIVE: Octavia Butler’s novel Fledgling is getting a television adaptation at HBO.

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The WarnerMedia premium network has ordered a pilot script for the project from Lovecraft Country writers and co-EPs Sonya Winton-Odamtten and Jonathan I. Kidd.

The pair, who reupped their overall deal with HBO in December, are writing the adaptation with Issa Rae and J.J. Abrams among the exec producers.

Fledgling is a sci-fi vampire novel that Butler, the first sci-fi writer to receive a MacArthur Fellowship, published via Grand Central Publishing in 2005, a year before her death.

It is the story of an apparently amnesiac young girl whose alarmingly inhuman needs and abilities lead her to a startling conclusion: She is in fact a genetically modified, 53-year-old vampire.  Forced to discover what she can about her stolen former life, she must at the same time learn who wanted — and still wants — to destroy her and those she cares for and how she can save herself.

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Winton-Odamtten and Kidd will write and exec produce. Rae and Montrel McKay will exec produce for Hoorae and Abrams and Ben Stephenson will exec produce for Bad Robot, whose Rachel Rusch Rich will co-exec produce alongside Hoorae’s Sara Rastogi and StartUp exec producer Ray Ricord. Warner Bros. Television is the studio.

It is the latest project for Winton-Odamtten and Kidd at HBO, the pair are developing limited crime series Say Their Names. The former Columbia University and UCLA college professors got their break in TV on the Warner Bros. Television Writers’ Workshop and served as writers on ABC’s legal drama The Whole Truth before selling a slew of projects including dark 1970s soap Rodeo Drive, The 4th Reich and dynastic family drama Southern Gothic ahead of joining Lovecraft Country.

It comes a couple of days after another Butler project, a feature adaptation of Parable of the Sower, was set up at A24 with Time director Garrett Bradley helming. The literary icon won the Hugo and Nebula awards multiple times and NASA recently named the landing site for its Perseverance rover on Mars in Butler’s honor.

Jonathan I. Kidd And Sonya Winton-Odamtten are represented by WME, Anonymous Content and Gang, Tyre, Ramer & Brown, Issa Rae is represented by UTA, 3 Arts Entertainment and John Meigs, J.J. Abrams is represented by CAA and Jackoway Tyerman Wertheimer and Anonymous Content represented the Butler estate on behalf of Merrilee Heifetz at Writers House.

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