EXCLUSIVE: Get Out writer-director Jordan Peele’s Monkeypaw Productions is teaming with J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot and Warner Bros Television on Lovecraft Country, a one-hour drama that has been given a straight-to-series order by HBO. The pilot will be written by Underground executive producer/showrunner/writer Misha Green. Peele will be exec producer along with Green, Abrams and Ben Stephenson. Green will be showrunner.
There is connective tissue to Peele’s breakout genre feature Get Out, which brought a Black Lives Matter theme to the horror genre. Lovecraft Country, the 2016 novel from Matt Ruff, focuses on 25-year-old Atticus Black. After his father goes missing, Black joins up with his friend Letitia and his Uncle George to embark on a road trip across 1950s Jim Crow America to find him. This begins a struggle to survive and overcome both the racist terrors of white America and the malevolent spirits that could be ripped from a Lovecraft paperback. The goal is an anthological horror series that reclaims genre storytelling from the African-American perspective.
Peele brought the book to Bad Robot and enlisted Green.
“When I first read Lovecraft Country I knew it had the potential to be unlike anything else on television,” Green said. “Jordan, JJ, Bad Robot, Warner Bros and HBO are all in the business of pushing the limits when it comes to storytelling, and I am beyond thrilled to be working with them on this project.”
This comes after his Monkeypaw banner was staked to a first-look film deal at Universal. Universal-based Blumhouse made Peele’s breakout genre hit Get Out, which has grossed $215 million worldwide on a $4.5 million budget. He formed Monkeypaw in 2012 to tell stories in comedy, horror and other genres, but his genre work is quickly overtaking his previous identity in comedy from MADtv and the Emmy- and Peabody-winning Comedy Central series Key & Peele.
Monkeypaw also produced Keanu, the film he starred in with his longtime TV series partner Keegan-Michael Key.
Peele is repped by CAA, Principato-Young and Jared Levine, and Green by CAA and attorney Nina Shaw. Ruff is repped by CAA in conjunction with the Melanie Jackson Agency.