HBO's 'Lovecraft Country' Is the Sci-Fi Horror Series Everyone Will Be Talking About

Gabrielle Bruney
Photo credit: Hearst Owned
Photo credit: Hearst Owned

From Esquire

With the most anticipated movies of 2020 facing long release delays, buzzy TV shows feel even more exciting now than they usually do. And HBO's upcoming series Lovecraft Country looks like it could be one of the biggest shows of the year. The series is executive produced by Get Out and Us filmmaker Jordan Peele and Lost creator J.J. Abrams, which is enough to get horror and sci-fi fans hyped, and is based on a book that draws upon the works (and deeply racist views) of one of the most celebrated horror writers in history, H.P. Lovecraft. Here's everything that we know so far about the hotly-anticipated new series.

Who's making it and who is in the cast?

While Abrams and Peele are onboard as executive producers, the series' showrunner is Misha Green, a former writer for Heroes and Sons of Anarchy and creator of the show Underground. Lovecraft Country stars Jonathan Majors of The Last Black Man in San Francisco and Da Five Bloods as Atticus, Jurnee Smollett of Birds of Prey as Atticus' friend Letitia, and The Wire and Boardwalk Empire star Michael Kenneth Williams as Atticus's father, Montrose. American Crime Story's Courtney B. Vance also appears as Atticus' uncle George.

What book is the show based on?

H.P. Lovecraft wrote some of the best horror fiction of all time—I still remember the sleepless nights that followed when I made the mistake of reading "The Dunwich Horror" as a kid. But he was also an ardent racist who considered black people to be so subhuman that he authored a poem called "On the Creation of N*ggers" and was a big fan of Adolf Hitler. In the midst of a contemporary reckoning over the author's legacy of great works and hideous racism, writer Matt Ruff released his novel Lovecraft Country in 2016, which includes themes from iconic author's work while also grappling with the equally horrific effects of the racism Lovecraft supported.

The book tells the story of Atticus Turner, a black Korean War veteran trying to track down his missing father in 1954 New England while facing off against ghosts, monsters, demons, and the more insidious terrors of American racism.

Is there a trailer yet?

Yep! The series trailer was released on July 24th, and while it doesn't come out at tell us much of what's going on in the show, it introduces Atticus, Letitia and some of the forces they'll be facing, including menacing occult groups, a desiccated corpse, and a truly Lovecraftian tentacle-faced monster. "This story is about my father, and the secret birthright that's been kept from us," says Atticus, which suggests that he's not just some random target all things weird and creepy, but that there's an element of destiny at play.

Here's the official HBO description of the series:

The one-hour drama series based on the 2016 novel by Matt Ruff, follows Atticus Black as he joins his friend Letitia and his Uncle George to embark on a road trip across 1950s Jim Crow America in search of his missing father. What follows is a struggle to survive and overcome both the racist terrors of white America and the terrifying monsters that could be ripped from an H.P. Lovecraft paperback.

When is the show's debut?

If you're counting down the days until we finally get to see Lovecraft Country, don't worry, because there isn't too much longer to wait before its debut. The show will premiere on HBO on Sunday, August 16th, at 9pm.

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