Back in 2016, when Lovecraft Country, Matt Ruff’s novel that blends supernatural terror with the even more terrifying racial politics of midcentury America, was first released, we immediately noted that it had “the basic structure of a season of serialized TV, with each chapter functioning as a type of short story whose place within the overall plot eventually becomes clear.” So it shouldn’t be surprising that HBO’s adaptation of the book looks like a faithful articulation of the story, at least going from the brand-new teaser below. And despite the title of the show, which promises the existence of giant malevolent creatures from beyond our understanding breaking into midcentury America, the true horror—as is hinted at by a few shots here—is an everyday society that was all too real.
The series follows Atticus Freeman (Jonathan Majors), who returns home to his uncle (Courtney B. Vance) only to discover that his father (Michael K. Williams) has gone missing. The pair set out on the road along with Atticus’ friend Letitia (Jurnee Smollett-Bell) in order to track the patriarch down, a journey that takes them straight into the titular region, which holds dangers both cultural and supernatural, even as it also depicts both the hardships and joys of the lives of black Americans living in Jim Crow America. And as a brief scene in a late-night wooded area makes clear, Succession may not be on the air right now, but there are plenty of other monsters ready to seize the screen on HBO this summer.
Lovecraft Country premieres on HBO sometime in August.