Jonathon Majors (The Last Black Man in San Francisco) has made many high-profile features in the past few years, but his next appearance will be in the upcoming HBO series Lovecraft Country. The series has an all-star cast and crew; co-stars include Jurnee Smollett-Bell (Eve’s Bayou), Michael K. Williams (Boardwalk Empire) and Courtney B. Vance (The Hunt for Red October), according to Variety.
Based on Matt Ruff’s 2016 book under the same name, the show was created by Misha Green with Jordan Peele (Get Out, Us) and J.J. Abrams (Lost) as executive producers.
Majors stars in Lovecraft Country as Korean War veteran Atticus Freeman who returns home to a 1950s Chicago. Vance plays his uncle George and Smollett-Bell plays their activist-singer-friend Letitia Lewis. The three Black Chicago natives travel across America, during the time where Jim Crow laws were in place, in search of Atticus’ father Montrose, who is played by Williams. The trio faces supernatural forces during their journey, while also dealing with cruel forms of bigotry and police brutality.
According to Entertainment Weekly, Williams on the series’ content said, “Even before coronavirus and the murder of George Floyd, when I read the scripts last year I was like, ‘This is America right now.’ That was crystal clear.” EW furthers, “The hangings, the beatings, the killings — it’s the same thing that was happening back then,” Vance adds. “I really wanted to be a part of something that was as important as delineating for people what it was [like] for us when we had to actually [travel] ourselves and figure out where we could stay, and then publish a book.… It is so sad that in this day and age we’re still dealing with the same issues.”
The HBO series centers Black voices; characters experience an adventure to take down white supremacy all while magic and supernatural elements play a factor. Though revisiting extensive years of trauma were emotionally draining to the cast. But the atmosphere on set was one of comfort, which made actors feel safe when exploring the darkest parts of their roles.
On the scarily realistic and heavy sequences, Majors said, “You want the tension. But when it all came down, when it was all over, we had each other. And that’s a great theme in the [show]: that this family is so tight,” according to EW. “That’s the true joy of life, being used for a purpose, Smollett says as reported by EW. “I would come home just spent, thoroughly worn out, fully feeling like I had no more to give, and yet excited to go back the next day to attempt to give more.”
Majors has appeared alongside Christian Bale in Hostiles and Matthew McConaughey in White Boy Rick, as well as starring in Da 5 Bloods from Spike Lee and the Sundance hit The Last Black Man in San Francisco.
Lovecraft Country will be available to stream on HBO August 16. Watch a preview of the upcoming series below.