HBO unveiled a new trailer for its upcoming 10-episode miniseries based on Matt Ruff’s 2016 horror/fantasy novel, Lovecraft Country, set to premiere in August.
In the novel, set in the mid-1950s, science fiction aficionado Atticus Turner, a black veteran of the Korean War, goes on a road trip from Chicago to a mysterious Massachusetts village to find his missing father. His companions on his quest include his uncle, George, who’s the editor of The Safe Negro Travel Guide; and his longtime friend and fellow SF fan, Letitia Dandridge. They run a “gauntlet of racist highway patrolmen and hostile white roadside hamlets” en route to adventures involving “ancient rituals, arcane magical texts, alternate universes, and transmogrifying potions,” according to Kirkus’ review, which favorably compares Ruff’s work to that of pulp-fiction practitioners of old. (The review also notes that the book’s namesake, horror author H.P. Lovecraft, was outspokenly racist, and “must be doing triple axels in his grave at the way his imagination has been so impudently shaken and stirred.”)
The miniseries stars Jonathan Majors, who appeared in last year’s underrated SF-thriller film Captive State, as Atticus; Jurnee Smollett-Bell, who played Black Canary in the recent DC Comics superhero movie, Birds of Prey, as Letitia; and Emmy winner Courtney B. Vance as George. The series was developed by Misha Green, who co-created the excellent WGN America TV series Underground, in which Smollett-Bell co-starred. Its executive producers include Oscar-winning filmmaker Jordan Peele and Emmy-winning director/producer J.J. Abrams, among others.
Ruff’s most recent novel, the tech-y speculative-fiction tale 88 Names, was published this past March.
David Rapp is the senior Indie editor.