Lovecraft Country Showrunner Reveals How She Pitched the Show to HBO

As audiences have witnessed in its first six episodes, HBO's Lovecraft Country is a series which defies definition, combining elements of horror, sci-fi, historical drama, and action to creature an entirely unique experience, one which viewers are struggling to believe has been brought to life with such a large production budget. Some fans were curious about how such an ambitious endeavor could even begin to be put into words for HBO execs, resulting in showrunner Misha Green sharing the notes she shared with HBO about what she hoped to accomplish with the series and how she hoped to bring the 2016 novel of the same name from Matt Ruff to life.

"H.P. Lovecraft wrote some of the most celebrated pulp horror, fantasy, sci-fi, and weird stories of the last century," Green's notes read. "You've probably read something by him, or seen something influenced by him (anything by Guillermo del Toro). He even has an entire subsection of the genre named after him. Google 'Lovecraftian horror' and you'll be scrolling for days."

She added, "You know what else he wrote? A poem entitled 'On the Creation of N-ggers.' Yes, he was a notorious racist [illegible] in genres notorious for underrepresenting people of color. We're going to change that."

Part of the joys of the series is seeing how each episode can feel almost entirely different tonally from what came before it, with some feeling like The Amityville Horror while others feel like Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. It's clear that, from the project's inception, Green aimed to circumvent all audience expectations.

"When I first read Lovecraft Country I immediately knew it had the potential to be a show unlike anything on TV," Green's notes detailed. "It's not horror. It's not sci-fi. It's not fantasy. We're not approaching this asking what it is. We're approaching it wondering what it can't be."

Lovecraft Country follows 25-year-old Koren war vet Atticus Black (Da 5 Bloods' Jonathan Majors), who joins up with his friend Letitia "Leti" Dandridge (Birds of Prey's Jurnee Smollett-Bell) and his Uncle George (The People v. OJ Simpson: American Crime Story's Courtney B. Vance) to embark on a road trip to find his missing father. Atticus, known for always having a pulp novel in his back pocket, wears his heart on his sleeve despite the daily injustice of living in 1950s Jim Crow America. The trio must survive and overcome both the racist terrors of white America and the malevolent spirits that could be ripped from a Lovecraft paperback.

0comments

New episodes of Lovecaraft Country air on Sunday nights on HBO.

What do you think of the series? Let us know in the comments below or contact Patrick Cavanaugh directly on Twitter to talk all things Star Wars and horror!