HBO Orders Pilot Script Based on Octavia Butler’s ‘Fledgling,’ Issa Rae and J.J. Abrams Executive Producing

HBO has ordered a pilot script based on Octavia Butler’s novel “Fledgling” from the Emmy-nominated drama series “Lovecraft Country’s” writers and co-EPs Sonya Winton-Odamtten and Jonathan I. Kidd. Among the executive producers for the book-to-screen adaptation is Issa Rae, creator and star of “Insecure,” and J.J. Abrams (“Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker”). The pilot, which hails from Warner Bros. Television, is currently in development.

Per the book’s description, “Fledgling,” which was originally published in 2005, is the story of an apparently young, amnesiac 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. Butler, a multiple Hugo and Nebula award winner, is considered one of the most prolific modern writers of science-fiction and is known best for her “Parable” series novels.

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Kidd and Winton-Odamtten extended their overall deal with HBO last December for a four-year term. In addition to “Fledgling,” the duo are developing “Say Their Names,” a limited series based on human rights journalist and activist Margaret Prescod’s relentless pursuit of justice in the “Grim Sleeper” murders in Los Angeles, which led to the founding of The Black Coalition Fighting Back Serial Murders.

Along with Winton-Odamtten, Kidd, Rae and Abrams, Montrel McKay (for Rae’s production banner HOORAE) will executive produce, as well as Ben Stephenson (for Abrams’ production banner Bad Robot). Co-executive producers include Rachel Rusch Rich via Bad Robot, Sara Rastogi for HOORAE and Ray Ricord.

Kidd and Winton Odamtten are repped by WME, Anonymous Content and Gang, Tyre, Ramer & Brown; Rae is repped by UTA, 3 Arts Entertainment and John Meigs; Abrams is repped by CAA and Jackoway Tyerman Wertheimer; Anonymous Content represents the Butler estate on behalf of Merrilee Heifetz at Writers House.

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