HBO’s series adaptation of ‘Lovecraft Country’ from Jordan Peele’s Monkeypaw Productions, J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot, and Warner Bros Television has found a director in Daniel Sackheim, who won an Emmy for helming ‘NYPD Blue’. More recently, he helmed episodes of HBO’s ‘True Detective’, as well as Amazon’s ‘Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan’, FX’s ‘The Americans’, and more. Stackheim will also serve as executive producer on ‘Lovecraft Country’.
It was announced in March that Yann Demange was directing the pilot and serving as executive producer. It’s unclear if that has changed with Sackheim replacing him, or if Sackheim is simply directing subsequent episodes.
In addition, three more cast members have been added, including Abbey Lee, who replaces Elizabeth Debicki as Christina Braithwaite. The reason for the recasting was not given. The cast will also now include Jamie Chung and Jordan Patrick Smith, both in recurring roles.
‘Lovecraft Country’ follows Atticus Freeman (Jonathan Majors) as he joins up with his friend Letitia (Jurnee Smollett-Bel) and his Uncle George (Courtney B. Vance) to embark on a road trip across 1950s Jim Crow America in search of his missing father. This 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.
The cast also includes Wunmi Mosaku as Leti’s sister Ruby Dandridge, Aunjanue Ellis as Atticus’ aunt Hippolyta Black, and Michael Kenneth Williams as Montrose Freeman, Atticus’ father.
Regarding Lee’s character of Christina Braithwaite, she is “the only daughter of the leader of a secret order calling themselves the Sons of Adam, she’s gone to great lengths to earn her father’s respect, to no avail. She’s going to pave her own path to power, and she’s going to use Atticus and his family to do it.”
Lee most recently appeared in the indie drama ‘Lux Æterna’. Among her other notable films are ‘The Neon Demon’, ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’, ‘The Dark Tower’, ‘Gods of Egypt’, and ‘Office Christmas Party’.
I’m guessing Jamie Chung is playing the only Asian in the entire South during the 1950s, but we’ll see. Her character’s name is Ji-Ah, and she is described as “a seemingly naive nursing student who is thrust into active service when war breaks out, and a rash of soldier disappearances suggests she is more than what she seems.” (In other words, she’s a monster. Er, spoiler alert.)
Chung’s most recent series was FOX’s ‘X-Men’ spinoff ‘The Gifted’. She lends her voice to ‘Big Hero 6: The Series’ as GoGo and Youtube’s ‘Sherwood’ as Rose Trefgarne.
Smith portrays William, “Blonde-haired, blue-eyed, he’s the perfect specimen for the Aryan race. He’s Christina’s henchmen, lover, bodyguard, spy, and anything else she needs him to be when she needs him to be it.”
Smith is best known for playing Ubbe on ‘Vikings’. Before that he starred on the BBC miniseries ‘Banished’, on the soap opera ‘Neighbors’, and in the Angelina Jolie film ‘Unbroken’.
In addition to Stackheim, Jordan Peele, Misha Green, J. J. Abrams, and Ben Stephenson serve as executive producers. ‘Lovecraft Country’ has been filming in the Chicago area, including at the Chicago Cinespace Film Studios. Production has now shifted to location shooting in Newnan, Georgia.
HBO has not announced when ‘Lovecraft Country’ will premier.
What do you think of the casting so far?