HBO’s next big thing, they hope, is Lovecraft Country, a sci-fi/ horror/ adventure series based on Matt Ruff’s novel of the same name. It was developed by Underground’s Misha Green, and is produced by Jordan Peele and JJ Abrams. It has a lot going for it: prestige pedigree, monsters, backroads, Tony Goldwyn AND Courtney B. Vance, hot young leads, and accidental relevance Because Of The Times.
Lovecraft Country comes with some pointed as f-ck visuals—check out the full trailer below for some real zero-subtlety dunks on the one-sided nature of the “American dream”—that would stand out at any time, but they land especially hard now, after a summer of protest and uprising and demanding social justice and Black Lives Matter. Lovecraft Country participated in Comic-Con @ Home with stars Jonathan Majors (recently seen in Da 5 Bloods), Jurnee Smollett, Michael K. Williamson, Aunjanue Ellis, Abbey Lee, Wunmi Mosaku, and Courtney B. Vance. It was a decent conversation, if stilted and awkward as all Zoom calls inevitably are, but the show clip at the end looks GREAT.
Because of Jordan Peele’s involvement, everyone is calling this another “horror social satire” like Get Out, but that honestly isn’t the vibe I get. I saw Lovecraft Country filming around Chicago last summer—including close to where I grew up—and it mostly looked like a lavish, detailed historical recreation. If you don’t know what “Lovecraft” means, you would just assume they were making something about the Jim Crow era. And Lovecraft Country is that, but there are ALSO actual arcane monsters, not just regular white supremacist monsters. I’ll be curious to see how the tone of Lovecraft Country shakes out, and whether or not the show will acknowledge sci-fi writer HP Lovecraft’s historical racism (as he lends his name to the book and the show). As you can see in the clip at the end of the Comic-Con conversation, the show looks equal parts monster movie and Indiana Jones. I am SUPER into that, especially as it potentially combines with the socio-political elements of the story. Perry Mason has been really good this summer, but it’s also hella depressing. Hopefully, Lovecraft Country will be the thought-provoking yet thrilling monster adventure we need in these times.
Check out the Comic Con conversation here, or skip to 41:07 for the clip:
And here’s the trailer:
Lovecraft Country premieres on HBO and in Canada on Crave on August 16.