Disney’s FX has announced the cast for its upcoming pilot of the profoundly influential novel “Kindred” has rounded out its cast with Micah Stock, Ryan Kwanten, Gayle Rankin, Austin Smith, Antoinette Crowe-Legacy and David Alexander Kaplan joining the previously announced Mallori Johnson as series regulars.
Janicza Bravo, director and co-writer of the critically-acclaimed feature Zola, will direct the pilot with Johnson starring in the lead role.
“Kindred” is based on MacArthur Fellow and Hugo Award winner Octavia E. Butler’s enormously popular and influential novel, which has been hailed as a visionary work of science fiction since it was first published more than four decades ago in 1979.
Here is the book’s description, which the series is based on:
In 1976, Dana dreams of being a writer. In 1815, she is assumed a slave. When Dana first meets Rufus on a Maryland plantation, he’s drowning. She saves his life – and it will happen again and again. Neither of them understands his power to summon her whenever his life is threatened, nor the significance of the ties that bind them. And each time Dana saves him, the more aware she is that her own life might be over before it’s even begun.
The television pilot of this classic work, which sold over a million copies, was written by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins (Watchmen, An Octoroon) and will be executive produced by Jacobs-Jenkins, Courtney Lee-Mitchell (The Reluctant Fundamentalist), Darren Aronofsky (mother!, The Fountain) and Ari Handel (One Strange Rock, Noah) of Protozoa Pictures, Joe Weisberg (The Americans), Joel Fields (Fosse/Verdon, The Americans), Ernestine Walker, Merrilee Heifetz and Bravo.
The pilot is being produced by FX Productions. So we should expect to see this series on Hulu in the United States and released internationally as a Star Original on Disney+.
Here are the cast bios:
Mallori Johnson landed the highly coveted role in FX’s Kindred pilot after graduating from The Julliard School – 2021, Group 50. Johnson is represented by Brillstein Entertainment Partners.
Micah Stock is a Tony Award-nominated stage and screen actor who will next co-star in Maggie Moore(s), a film by John Slattery and starring Jon Hamm and Tina Fey. He most recently co-starred in Netflix’s Emmy-nominated short form comedy series, Bonding; as well as a series regular on Disney+’s drama series The Right Stuff, portraying real-life NASA astronaut Deke Slayton. For film, Stock delivered a breakout performance in the 2019 Sundance Audience Award winner, Brittany Runs A Marathon, the directorial debut of Paul Downs Colaizzo, starring Jillian Bell, Michaela Watkins and Lil Rel Howery, which was distributed by Amazon. His additional credits include Showtime’s Emmy-nominated limited series Escape at Dannemora, directed and produced by Ben Stiller; and the Apple+ anthology series, Amazing Stories, executive produced by Steven Spielberg. In 2015, Micah received a Tony Award nomination for his Broadway debut in Terrence McNally’s uproarious comedy, It’s Only A Play, alongside an all-star cast including legends Nathan Lane, Matthew Broderick, Megan Mullally, Stockard Channing, and F. Murray Abraham. He also starred on Broadway alongside Slattery and Lane in the 2016 revival of the classic comedy The Front Page, directed by the legendary Jack O’Brien, and also starring John Goodman, Holland Taylor, Robert Morse, and more.
Ryan Kwanten is best known for his performance as ‘Jason Stackhouse’ for 7 seasons on HBO’s iconic series True Blood. He was most recently seen in the Amazon anthology Them from Lena Waithe, which debuted at SXSW to win the Audience Award. Prior, he starred in the Blumhouse/Facebook Watch series Sacred Lies opposite Juliette Lewis and alongside Sean Bean in the crime series The Oath for Sony’s Crackle. On the feature side, he starred opposite John Malkovich in the comedy-actioner Supercon for Sony, as well as the historical drama Northmen: A Viking Saga with Ed Skrein. An action powerhouse, he led such films as Blunt Force Trauma opposite Frieda Pinto and Mickey Rourke, The Hurricane Heist with Toby Kebbell, and Kidnapping Mr. Heineken with Anthony Hopkins and Sam Worthington.
Gayle Rankin will next star in the upcoming FX drama pilot, Kindred, from writer Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, based off the widely popular Octavia E. Butler novel. She can most recently be seen in the HBO series Perry Mason opposite Matthew Rhys. She just wrapped shooting Alex Garland’s new feature, Men. Gayle had a Cannes break-out in Mike Covino and Kyle Martin’s film The Climb, and has been receiving great reviews as it made the festival rounds. She recently ended her run starring as “Sheila the She-Wolf” on the Emmy nominated hit series, Glow for Netflix. She can be seen in the independent feature, Her Smell opposite Elizabeth Moss and directed by Alex Ross Perry, which premiered at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival. She also premiered at Tribeca 2019 in Blow the Man Down opposite June Squibb and Margo Martindale. After making her major feature film debut in Noah Baumbach’s Meyerowitz Stories, opposite Ben Stiller, Dustin Hoffman, and Emma Thompson, which premiered at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival, she worked on The Greatest Showman for 20th Century Fox opposite Hugh Jackman and Zac Efron as well as features, Irreplaceable You opposite Gugu Mbatha-Raw and In a Relationship opposite Emma Roberts. Gayle is also a rising star of New York’s theater scene. Gayle starred as “Ophelia” opposite Oscar Isaac in Sam Gold’s production of Hamlet. She previously starred on stage in the Public’s all-female production of The Taming of the Shrew for Phyllida Lloyd. Gayle made her Broadway debut opposite Michelle Williams, Emma Stone, and Alan Cumming in Cabaret for director Sam Mendes. Her extensive credits include Tony Kushner’s The Illusion for director Michael Mayer, Nina Raines’s Tribes for David Cromer, and the Lincoln Center world premiere production of The Mystery of Love & Sex, in which she starred opposite Diane Lane for director Sam Gold. Other film and television credits include the HBO pilot The Missionary and feature, The Passing Season opposite Brian J. Smith. Originally from Scotland, Gayle is a graduate of the Juilliard School.
Austin Smith has appeared on Netflix’s RUSSIAN DOLL, HBO’s Random Acts of Flyness and NBC’s New Amsterdam. He was an original Broadway cast member of Hamilton and is currently starring in the world premiere of Martyna Majok’s Sanctuary City at New York Theatre Workshop.
Antoinette Crowe-Legacy stars opposite Forest Whitaker in the EPIX series Godfather of Harlem. Up next, Antoinette will be seen opposite Anne Hathaway and Jared Leto in the WeWork limited series WeCrashed for Apple TV+. Antoinette will also at last reprise the role of “Kaneisha” in the upcoming Broadway run of Slave Play. Jeremy O. Harris wrote the role for Crowe-Legacy when they were students at Yale School of Drama – the actress originated the role in Slave Play’s first developmental production in 2017 as part of Yale’s Langston Hughes Festival. Antoinette was recently seen in Rebecca Hall’s feature Passing opposite Tessa Thompson and Ruth Negga. The film recently made a near-record breaking sale to Netflix for over $16M at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival. Among Antoinette’s many theater credits, she played leading roles in both Tori Sampson’s play If Pretty Hurts Ugly Must Be a Muhfucka, which Leah Gardiner directed at Playwrights Horizons, as well as in Aziza Barnes’s play BLKS, directed by Robert O’Hara for MCC Theater. Antoinette graduated from Yale’s prestigious MFA Acting Program, where she received the 2018 Carol Finch Dye Award. Past winners include Meryl Streep and Frances McDormand.
David Alexander Kaplan
David Alexander Kaplan is 11 years old and was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia to parents Alan and Zhenia Kaplan. Following in the footsteps of his older brother, actor Michael Kendall Kaplan, David has enjoyed many successes in both film and television. He recently filmed a reoccurring role in soon to be released episodes of a popular Netflix series and a supporting role in a feature film. David worked alongside Stephen Dorf in the feature film Embattled and is known for his supporting lead roles in Lifetime Movie, A Sister’s Secret, and two episodes of Creepshow where he was directed by Tom Savini and Greg Nicotero. David also appeared with Matt Czuchry in The Resident and Lucas Till in MacGyver. His petite size, and wisdom and discipline which are well beyond his years, make him an ideal actor for young roles. What David loves most about TV and Film is the creative process and telling stories through the art of acting.
Are you looking forward to FX’s “Kindred”?