Jonathan Majors has landed a lead role opposite Jurnee Smollett-Bell in HBO’s upcoming supernatural racial drama Lovecraft Country.
Underground showrunner Misha Green is the scriptwriter and executive produces with Jordan Peele through his Monkeypaw Productions and J.J. Abrams through Bad Robot. Ben Stephenson and David Knoller also executive produce. Yann Demage is directing the pilot and executive produces. Warner Bros Television is the studio.
Focusing on members of two black families and described as “a devastating kaleidoscopic portrait of racism,” here’s the story Lovecraft Country tells, courtesy of the publisher: Chicago, 1954. When his father Montrose goes missing, 22-year-old Army veteran Atticus Turner embarks on a road trip to New England to find him, accompanied by his Uncle George—publisher of The Safe Negro Travel Guide—and his childhood friend Letitia. On their journey to the manor of Mr. Braithwhite—heir to the estate that owned one of Atticus’s ancestors—they encounter both mundane terrors of white America and malevolent spirits that seem straight out of the weird tales George devours. At the manor, Atticus discovers his father in chains, held prisoner by a secret cabal named the Order of the Ancient Dawn—led by Samuel Braithwhite and his son Caleb—which has gathered to orchestrate a ritual that shockingly centers on Atticus. And his one hope of salvation may be the seed of his—and the whole Turner clan’s—destruction.
Deadline, who broke the news, says Majors will star as Atticus Black, “a Korean war vet who always has a pulp novel in his back pocket, and wears his heart on his sleeve despite the daily injustice of living in Jim Crow America.”
Critics call the book a “brilliant” and “wondrous” work that combines historical fiction, pulp noir and “Lovecraftian” (named after horror fiction author H. P. Lovecraft) horror and fantasy.
Majors, who starred in the ABC events series When We Rise, also has key roles in the upcoming films White Boy Rick, Captive State and a lead role in The Last Black Man in San Francisco.