While the official Comic-Con panel isn’t until Saturday afternoon, HBO released the first full trailer for Lovecraft Country on Friday. And while it’s still probably mostly incomprehensible if you haven’t read the book, there are some tentacled hints. To be more specific, yes–that appears to be Cthulhu Thee Monster (or a reasonable facsimile) in the clip. Let’s check it out.
But First, a Refresher on Lovecraft Country
image via HBO
In case you missed our coverage of the first teaser trailer, here’s what you need to know. Lovecraft Country, based on Matt Ruff’s book, is an upcoming series produced by Jordan Peele and JJ Abrams. Atticus Black (Jonathan Majors), a Korean War vet, returns to Chicago from a brief sojourn in the South. He’s not there for long, though, before his dad, Montrose (Michael K. Williams) disappears. The only clue is a note he left, referring to his quest to ferret out his late wife’s ancestry.
Sci-fi fan Atticus misreads it at first, thinking his dad wrote that he was going to “Arkham,” which unnerves Atticus, because that’s Lovecraft Country. However, his uncle George (Courtney B. Vance) points out that it actually says “Ardham,” a small town in Massachusetts. That’s still Lovecraft Country, though. So Atticus, George, and their friend Leticia (Jurnee Smollett) set off to find Montrose, a journey that will take them across America while Jim Crow still rules. Also, there might be aaahh!!!, real monsters.
Please note, though, that this is the book plot, and the book comprises several interconnected stories. The official description for the TV show plot just says that Atticus and company “…embark on a road trip across 1950s Jim Crow America in search of his missing father.” It wouldn’t be a surprise if there were changes to the book plot. In fact, we can already see one, maybe–Abbey Lee is playing Christina Braithwaite, who, according to the promos, is the daughter of Samuel Braithwaite (Tony Goldwyn). She doesn’t appear in the book, though. Meanwhile, Caleb Braithwaite, Samuel’s son, is a character in the book but appears to be absent on the show. It would seem that the character has been gender-flipped for the show.
It also seems (from the trailer) as if Jordan Patrick Smith’s character, William–“Christina’s henchman, lover, bodyguard, spy, or whatever else she may need him to be,” according to HBO–is assuming some of the Caleb plotline. And speaking of gender-flipping, George and his wife Hippolyta (Aunjanue Ellis)’s son Horace is also missing from the credits. There is a little girl, though, billed as Diana Black (Jada Harris). Who knows what else they’ll change?
First Lovecraft Country Trailer
It wouldn’t be shocking if the first season concentrated solely on the first story–the road trip–and left other stories for subsequent seasons. However, for folks like me who’ve read the book, there are hints that the season will cover multiple stories. At :54, for instance, we see a glimpse of Hippolyta with a model of the planets that appears in a story separate from the road trip. :58 seems to depict another story that happened to Horace (now apparently replaced by Diana). And that’s not all–at 1:37 we see a shot that sure seems like Letitia’s sister Ruby’s (Wunmi Mosaku) story.
Again, though, unless you’re a fan of the book, none of this will mean anything to you. But something else might. That’s because at 1:58, something tentacled this way comes. It ain’t a flerken, but it just might be another creature. Its distinctive appearance has led several outlets to describe it as Cthulhu it(him?)self. However, *strapping on dirty t-shirt and unkempt beard* while Cthulhu is perhaps the most famous of Lovecraft’s cosmic monsters, scholars of Cthulhiana know that there’s also the star spawn, a group of smaller ones (Small Ones?), the Cthulhi, who look remarkably like the Great Old One. Basically, it could be one of them. Anyway, take a look, y’all.
Whew. Lovecraft Country debuts on HBO on August 16.
Update: The Lovecraft Country Comic-Con at Home Panel
Following the release of the trailer, the creators of Lovecraft Country appeared in a panel for Comic-Con at Home. They along with the cast talk about this compelling series, and how they can use Lovecraftian horror to talk about important real-world issues in the context of the story. It’s a thrilling and heavy, at times, discussion.
What do you think of the show now that the full Lovecraft Country trailer is out? Tell me more in the comments below or on social media.
featured image via HBO
Salomé Gonstad is a freelance writer who grew up in the swampy wilds of south Alabama. She now splits her time between the Appalachian wilds (of Alabama) and the considerably more refined streets of New York City. When she's not yelling about pop culture on the internet, she's working on a supernatural thriller about her hometown. Also, we're pretty sure she's a werewolf.