Lovecraft Country debuts on HBO Sunday, August 16, 2020 at 9:00 Eastern time). It will then be available to stream on HBO Max.
Based on the novel of the same name by Matt Ruff, the ten-episode series will follow Atticus Freeman (Jonathan Majors) as he journeys with his childhood friend Letitia (Jurnee Smollett) and his uncle George (Courtney B. Vance) on a road trip from Chicago across 1950s Jim Crow America in search of his missing father Montrose (Michael Kenneth Williams). Their search-and-rescue turns into a struggle to survive and overcome both the racist terrors of white America and monstrous creatures that could be ripped from an H.P. Lovecraft paperback.
Jonathan Majors, who studied drama at Yale University, previously starred as Montgomery Allen in The Last Black Man in San Francisco. Like Nathan Fillion, he played Dogberry in Much Ado About Nothing. (Majors in 2013, Fillion in 2012.)
Jurnee Smollett co-starred in Birds of Prey with Margot Robbie as Black Canary. She had a continuing role as the voice of Chrysta on Disney’s Sofia the First.
Courtney B. Vance played the brilliant sonar tech Seaman Jones in The Hunt for Red October. He was Stanford Wedeck in Flashforward and Colonel Greenway in The Mummy. He was Roger Hines in Space Cowboys, In Ruff’s book, Uncle George is the author of The Safe Negro Travel Guide, the infamous Green Book that inspired the Oscar-winning movie.
H. P. Lovecraft (1890-1937) is horribly racist by modern standards, which is why his image was removed from the World Fantasy Award trophy, and even in the Twenties and Thirties, his opinions on racial matters were considered extreme. In Lovecraft Country, the horror is evenly divided between the Jim Crow attitudes we have not sufficiently abandoned yet and the extradimensional monsters described in the Necronomicon.
Susan Macdonald is the author of the children’s book “R is for Renaissance Faire”, as well as 26 short stories, mostly fantasy in “Alternative Truths”, “Swords and Sorceress #30”, Swords &Sorceries Vols. 1, 2, & 5, “Cat Tails” “Under Western Stars”, and “Knee-High Drummond and the Durango Kid”. Her articles have appeared on SCIFI.radio’s web site, in The Inquisitr, and in The Millington Star. She enjoys Renaissance Faires (see book above), science fiction conventions, Highland Games, and Native American pow-wows.