A highly regarded book that blends a noirish mystery, racial politics and cosmic monsters from outside our universe is coming to HBO.
The book is called Lovecraft Country and will be produced for the cable network by a powerhouse combination of Jordan Peele's Monkeypaw Productions, Warner Bros. Television and J.J. Abrams' Bad Robot company. Peele and Abrams are executive producers, while Misha Green will write the pilot and serve as showrunner for the series.
There's no word yet on whether Peele will direct any segments, but Lovecraft Country feels like a cousin to his brilliant film from earlier this year, Get Out, in the way it melds social commentary to full-on horror.
Matt Ruff's 2016 novel is set in 1950s America -- the era of the segregationist Jim Crow laws -- and focuses on a 25-year-old man named Atticus Black, who sets out with his friend Letitia and uncle George to find his missing father. Their journey finds them running headlong not only into the bigotry, intolerance and racially-directed violence prevalent at the time, but also horrors straight out of Lovecraft's oeuvre (while his fiction is still held in high esteem and hugely influential to this day, Lovecraft himself was notoriously racist in many of his views).
Misha Green said about the book:
“When I first read Lovecraft Country I knew it had the potential to be unlike anything else on television. Jordan, JJ, Bad Robot, Warner Bros and HBO are all in the business of pushing the limits when it comes to storytelling, and I am beyond thrilled to be working with them on this project.”
According to Deadline, the Lovecraft Country series is aimed at being "an anthological horror series that reclaims genre storytelling from the African-American perspective." That sounds to me like the series could tackle other stories under that same banner after launching with an adaptation of Ruff's book, but time will tell if that's the case.
Have you read Lovecraft Country? Any thoughts on seeing it adapted to HBO?