The U.S. studio arm of Israel’s Keshet International is planning to turn the book, which Insecure star Issa Rae has called “phenomenal,” into a returning drama series and is understood to be looking for a showrunner to helm the project.
Published this week from Dutton, Penguin Random House, The Awoken is billed as a “high-stakes, adrenaline-fueled” romantic story about “a chilling, all-too-plausible future” in which a woman with terminal cancer undergoes cryogenic preservation as her only hope for a second chance, leaving behind the love of her life. When she wakes up a century later, she discovers a world where her very life is now a crime.
The synopsis reads: “When Alabine Rivers, a politically active young woman with a bright career and romance ahead of her, discovers she has terminal cancer, the only thing that gives her solace is the possibility of a second life through the emerging field of cryogenics. A century later, scientists have discovered how to bring the cryogenically frozen back to life, but humanity is locked in a philosophical battle over the ethics of this new God-like power, a battle that has turned violent: those who are resurrected, the Awoken, have been declared illegal and are to be shot on sight.”
Howes, an award-winning, LA-based writer and Emmy-nominated documentarian, is adapting the series for television herself. Her work often tackles systemic inequities and combats uninformed bias. Keshet Studios’ EVP of Television Lisa Roos and VP of Scripted Heather Brewster will produce the dystopian drama, along with Peter Traugott, who will also executive produce alongside Howes, Keshet International chief Alon Shtruzman and Keshet Media Group CEO Avi Nir.
Roos said: “We are really thrilled to have closed this deal with Katelyn. We love that The Awoken is an ambitious idea with a sweeping love story and although it takes place in the future, it tackles real issues that are relevant to today.”
We Howes added: “Keshet Studios is the perfect partner to bring The Awoken to the screen. I couldn’t be more excited to have their incredible story sense and character-driven instincts behind this.”
Howes is represented by Heroes and Villains Entertainment, UTA and Myman Greenspan. Keshet Studios has a first-look deal with Universal Television, a division of Universal Studio Group, and the pair are currently co-producing season two of La Brea for NBC and The Calling (Peacock) with them. Other projects in production include Echo 3 for Apple TV+), which is based on When Heroes Fly; and A Small Light for Nat Geo/Disney+.