The cast of HBO’s upcoming drama-thriller Lovecraft Country discussed the nature of the show’s unique take on Lovecraft mythos at their ComicCon@Home panel. The show, based on Matt Ruff’s novel under the same name, explores the intersection of prejudice and science fiction monsters during the era of Jim Crow.
Lovecraft Country follows Jonathan Majors (The Last Black Man in San Francisco) as Atticus Black, an African-American man trying to track down his disappeared father Montrose Freeman (played by Michael Kenneth Williams, When They See Us). Atticus joins forces with his friend Letita (Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Birds of Prey) and his uncle George (Courtney B. Vance, The Hunt for Red October) as the three follow clues left behind by Montrose about his disappearance and the people who are following him.
Majors, Williams, Smollett-Bell, and Vance were all in attendance for the panel, alongside co-stars Wunmi Mosaku (Luther), who plays Letita’s half-sister Ruby, Aunjanue Ellis (The Help), who plays George’s wife Hippolyta, and Abby Lee (Mad Max: Fury Road) as Christina, the main antagonist of the show.
The actors shared their experiences facing racism and prejudice in America and how their history shaped the way they approached the material in the series. In discussing a scene where Letita is trying to escape from cops in a “Sundown Town,” Smollett-Bell described it as a “Blood Memory.” She explained that “there are so many themes we explore in this show that resonate with us as African Americans,” likening the fictional events of this show set in America in the 1960s to the displays of police brutality in current-day America.
Majors described the show as a tool to start conversations on topics such as racism in America. He described systemic racism as “ancient,” an experience shared by all African Americans. However, Majors said he is proud to be able to portray such truthful and powerful moments in a current-day primetime drama series. He shared that he “was amazed” when he read the script for the first time, and that he read it twice over as soon as he got it.
The new clip follows the main trio as they solve a puzzle by bouncing light onto a statue and uncovering a hidden passageway underneath it. Lovecraft Country releases August 16th on HBO Max.