Wanuri Kahiu is set for yet another project in Hollywood where she will be a co-writer and director of a drama series titled Wild Seed. The series, based on Butler’s 1980 novel, will tell the story of two African immortals who travel the ages from pre-colonial West Africa to the far future. The series will be co-written by Nigerian author Nnedi Okorafor and directed by Kenyan film director Wanuri Kahiu. Oscar-winning actor Viola Davis and Julius Tennon’s JuVee Productions will be developing Wild Seeds for the streaming service, Amazon Prime Video.
“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,” Deadline reports.
“We couldn’t think of more perfect partners to bring Octavia’s feminist century-spanning epic to life than Viola Davis, JuVee Productions and the brilliant creative team of Wanuri Kahiu and Nnedi Okorafor.”
“Wild Seed is a book that shifted my life. 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 fulﬁlls 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,” says Viola.
Wanuri Kahiu is also teaming up with Millie Bobby Brown to adapt acclaimed YA novel The Thing About Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin. Jellyfish tells the story of a young girl named Suzy who loses her best friend in a drowning accident. Suzy becomes convinced that the actual cause of her friend’s death was a rare jellyfish sting. She retreats into a silent world of her imagination and begins crafting a globe-trotting plan to prove her theory, with the book exploring the ideas of life and death, the frailty of friendships and the potential of hope right next door.
This will be Wanuri’s third directorial project in Hollywood as she is already directing two others. In late 2018, Wanuri was handpicked to direct Covers, a romance film for global film studio Universal Pictures and Working Tittle, a British Production house. Universal and Working Tittle settled on Wanuri after an international search for a director to direct first-time screenwriter Flora Greeson’s screenplay, which the American studio has acquired.
Wanuri has enjoyed a series of success with her film Rafiki which has seen her being named a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science synonymous for The Oscars.