As viewers of HBO's upcoming supernatural-drama series Lovecraft Country get ready to travel into the heart of America's darkness with Atticus Black (Jonathan Majors), Letitia "Leti" Dandridge (Jurnee Smollett-Bell), and Uncle George (Courtney B. Vance), the cable network is handing them a very helpful traveling companion. Every Sunday, Ashley C. Ford, series writer Shannon Houston and Pineapple Street Studios offer the official Lovecraft Country podcast, where the hosts discuss the latest episode; share their thoughts on the ties between black culture and the horror genre, and how the show's themes resonate in our times; and recommend others media (books, films, etc.) that will enhance the viewing experience.
But you don't have to wait until Sunday to start the journey, with the first episode "Welcome to Lovecraft Country" ready-and-waiting for your eardrums below:
Episode 1 "Welcome to Lovecraft Country": Hosts Ashley C. Ford and Shannon Houston talk about the inspiration behind the HBO series Lovecraft Country. They track the show's history from writer H.P. Lovecraft, to Matt Ruff's novel "Lovecraft Country" and Misha Green's TV adaptation. Shannon describes what it was like to be in the writers room and shares some of the works that influenced the show. Before the series premieres on August 16th, the hosts share what movies, books, and artists will serve as a primer before you dive into the world of Lovecraft Country.
Misha Green, Jordan Peele, and EP J.J. Abrams' Lovecraft Country introduces us to Koren war vet Atticus Black, who joins up with his friend Letitia "Leti" Dandridge and his Uncle George to embark on a road trip to find his missing father and claim a family legacy. Atticus is known for two things: always having a pulp novel in his back pocket and wearing his heart on his sleeve despite the daily injustice of living in the 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. In the following combination of new and previously-released scenes, the deeper the trio find that as they travel further along on their journey, both worlds will haunt (and hunt) them:
Joining Vance, Majors, and Smollett-Bell are Aunjanue Ellis, Elizabeth Debicki, Wunmi Mosaku, Michael K. Williams, Jamie Harris, Abbey Lee, Jamie Chung, Jordan Patrick Smith, Jamie Neumann, Erica Tazel, and Mac Brandt, and Tony Goldwyn. Adapted from Matt Ruff's novel of the same name, Lovecraft Country stems from Academy Award winner Jordan Peele's Monkeypaw Productions, J.J. Abrams' Bad Robot, and WBTV. Yann Demange (Top Boy) directs and executive produces the series opener; with Misha Green writing the pilot and serving as showrunner, as well as executive-producing alongside Peele, Abrams, and Ben Stephenson. Daniel Sackheim (The Americans, True Detective) is directing the second and third episodes of the series, and will also serve as executive producer.
Season 1, Episode 1: "Sundown": Veteran and pulp-fiction aficionado Atticus Freeman (Jonathan Majors) travels from the Jim Crow South to his South Side of Chicago hometown in search of his missing father Montrose (Michael Kenneth Williams). After recruiting his uncle George (Courtney B. Vance) and childhood friend Letitia (Jurnee Smollett) to join him, the trio sets out for "Ardham," MA, where they think Montrose may have gone looking for insight into Atticus' late mother's ancestry. As they journey across the Midwest, Tic, Leti, and George encounter dangers lurking at every turn, especially after sundown. Teleplay by Misha Green; directed by Yann Demange.