I n the most grim of the grim month of August, last Monday the 17th, HBO came to save lives with one of the most anticipated series of the year: Lovecraft Territory, spectacular adaptation of Matt Ruff’s novel about a young Korean War veteran who faces supernatural monsters, those of Lovecraft, and real monsters, those of racism, while searching for his missing father through the segregated south of the years fifty.
The series is produced by Jordan Peele and JJ Abrams, two key names in contemporary fantasy. its showrunner is Misha Green ( Underground), who assures that the series is heir to both Let me out like Lost, whose pilot “set a new level when it comes to making television,” as he explained in the virtual press tour of the Television Critics Association.
Bibliophile and skinny
Neither Abrams nor Peele nor Green are present in the virtual press junket to which Prensa Ibérica & Zeta has access, but all the main actors of the series are, starting with its protagonist, Jonathan Majors. “I didn’t have to work hard on certain aspects of Atticus,” he says of his heroic character. “I was a bibliophile myself when I was little. I was also skinny; I had to fight my way through the tough guys of South Texas with that look. As for post-traumatic stress disorder, something Atticus deals with, he had already done works and films about the issue, “he says.
Lovecraft Territory can serve to reignite the debate about whether America deserves black men to fight for its cause. “It’s a huge debate in the African American community,” says Majors. “The contradiction of being black and going to war for this country. Montrose, the father, criticizes Atticus for doing it, something that he understands, but that does not lead him to change his mind,” he says.
At the beginning of the story, Atticus returns home, to Chicago, after receiving a letter in which Montrose says he finally knows where his late wife came from and that he must inform him of a certain secret legacy. There he is received by his Uncle George, played by Courtney B. Vance; his aunt Hyppolita, with the warm face of Aunjanue Ellis, and his niece Diana, young Jada Harris. But not his father, absent for a few days, perhaps displaced to the fictional Ardham, which rhymes with the legendary Arkham of Lovecraft.
The family business is The Safe Travel Guide for Blacks, a kind of Green book in which they collect instructions on where to stay or eat in territories that are not always welcoming to people of color. Hyppolita takes a moment of intimacy to suggest to George that she too wants to travel and take notes. That moment of intimacy is no small thing: a few minutes of mature black love, something unusual on television. “These scenes are not fun to shoot, let’s face it,” says Vance. “You don’t know how to position yourself or where to put your hand. All the negotiation that has to be done to get where it has to be, a minute of love, is a lot of work.”
For the moment, George is not going exploring with Hyppolita, but with Atticus, ready to locate his father in Lovecraft’s country, and Letitia (Jurnee Smollett-Bell), the latter’s childhood friend. Smollett-Bell repeats with Misha Green after starring Underground: “Series in which she and I, at first, we got along fatally”, she remembers. “But it’s time to shoot Lovecraft Territory, I understood her writing and she understood my process. It is no longer difficult for us to communicate and I appreciate it; this story requires a lot of dedication. ”
Letitia gets in the car (or George’s station wagon, a Packard Series 22) after being poorly received on her way home. Her sister Ruby (Wunmi Mosaku) does not forgive her, among other things, that she did not go to her mother’s funeral.
Racists and monsters
In his mysterious road trip, Atticus, Leti and George soon find themselves facing bugs of all kinds, including the mysterious Christina (Abbey Lee), daughter of the leader of a secret cabal. “I had to do a lot of research on the situation of women in the US of the 50s,” says Lee, vampire models at The neon demon. “For me she is like a woman who frees herself from the patriarchal yoke, only in the most dubious ways. I didn’t want to leave her a simple psychopath. The most interesting thing about being actress it is to find humanity in difficult places. ”
Majors hopes that Lovecraft Territory Help them feel more empathy not for white people, left over from them, but for black citizens. “The monsters in the series are a manifestation of hatred. A hatred that is born of ignorance. George Floyd is mentioned a lot on television, but little is said about who he was. Here you have 10 hours to learn about Montrose and his family, from multiple points of view, too. “