Ava DuVernay and rising talent Victoria Mahoney are teaming up for a sci-fi series titled Dawn at Amazon. It is based on the 1987 novel by Octavia E. Butler, which is part of a three-book series that continues with Adulthood Rites and Imago, referred to collectively as Lilith’s Brood.
The books follow a black woman, Lilith Iyapo, held captive by an alien race who have risen to power after an apocalyptic nuclear war wiped out most of the human race 250 years prior. Forming an uneasy truce with the aliens, Lilith figures out how to live better, and how to potentially bring humanity back.
The books are known for interrogating themes involving race, gender, and sexuality, themes DuVernay has tackled with in the past in her work, so this sounds like a great fit. And Mahoney is a rising star due to being the first woman to ever direct part of a Star Wars movie, having worked as the second unit director on Rise Of Skywalker.
She has also directed her own film, Yelling To The Sky, and has also helmed episodes of Lovecraft Country, Grey’s Anatomy, and Claws. She will write and direct the Dawn pilot, and serve as an executive producer alongside DuVernay.
This sounds like a perfect marriage between source material and creatives. It will be fascinating to see what DuVernay and Mahoney can do with Butler’s sprawling sci-fi world. Although Amazon is putting many of their eggs in the basket of their Lord Of The Rings series, Dawn is perhaps the kind of striking original series that can become the sort of acclaimed hit they’re searching for.