Lovecraft Country showrunner talks metaphorical monsters and Freddy Krueger

Last Updated on August 2, 2021

On August 16th, HBO will bring us the latest Jordan Peele genre project with the premiere of their series Lovecraft Country, which counts Peele among its writers and executive producers. Based on a novel by Matt Ruff (which you can purchase at THIS LINK), Lovecraft Country will show us what happens when 

Atticus Black joins up with his friend Letitia and his Uncle George to embark on a road trip across 1950s Jim Crow America in search of his missing father. Thus begins a struggle to survive and overcome both the racist terrors of white America and the terrifying monsters that could be ripped from a Lovecraft paperback.

Showrunner Misha Green and stars Jonathan Majors and Jurnee Smollett have been doing press for the show, and during WarnerMedia's virtual Television Critics Association panel they addressed how the show will deal with racism… and also how it will give a nod to a horror icon.

Green said that she sees the monsters on the show as 

a metaphor for the racism that's always been running through America and globally."

Agreeing that racism is "more terrifying than a shoggoth", Majors said, 

In my opinion, a monster is a monster. It's something that is driven by an inside system and that system is either to terrorize or destroy. It's quite different when that monster is disguised in the same body as you and the only thing that's different is skin color. That then makes it more for me a mental and psychological f**k. All of a sudden, you're in a horror film."

Then Green mentioned something that has me very curious to find out exactly what she meant. She said, 

Later you'll see we use NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET and Freddy Krueger to tell what it's like to be a young Black girl in America."

I have no idea how that's going to work, or how Freddy could possibly be referenced on a show that's set in the 1950s… Then again, Lovecraft Country isn't going to be a show that avoids anachronisms. Despite the '50s setting, the music used in the series will include Cardi B and the theme song from The Jeffersons. 

Green explained, 

[We've used] modern music to bridge time to take this period piece off the wall. It's so fun to place some Cardi B in the 1950s and have it resonate as much as it does today."

Peele and Green executive produced Lovecraft Country with J.J. Abrams, Bill Carraro, David Knoller, Ben Stephenson, and pilot director Yann Demange. 

Majors and Smollett play Atticus and Letitia, with Courtney B. Vance as Uncle George; Aunjanue Ellis as George's wife Hippolyta; Wunmi Mosaku as Letitia's less successful hustler sister Ruby; Jamie Harris as country sheriff Eunice Hunt; Michael Kenneth Williams as Atticus's missing father, Montrose Freeman; Erica Tazel as Montrose's spitfire wife Dora; Jamie Chung as nursing student Ji-Ah; Jamie Neumann as Hillary, an outdoorsy woman whose dreams turn into nightmares in the big city; Mac Brandt as corrupt Chicago cop Lancaster; Abbey Lee (replacing the originally announced Elizabeth Debicki) as Christina Braithwhite, "the only daughter of Samuel Braithwhite, the leader of a secret order calling themselves the Sons of Adam"; Tony Goldwyn as Samuel Braithwhite, "patriarch of his family, who views people as assets and objects and outsiders — including his daughter Christina — as inferiors"; and Jordan Patrick Smith as Christina's henchman William.

Source: Entertainment Tonight

About the Author

Cody is a news editor and film critic, focused on the horror arm of, and writes scripts for videos that are released through the JoBlo Originals and JoBlo Horror Originals YouTube channels. In his spare time, he's a globe-trotting digital nomad, runs a personal blog called Life Between Frames, and writes novels and screenplays.