After Jordan Peele’s record-breaking success with his first film, Get Out, the comedian-turned-producer was pursued by Warner Bros. to helm a live-action remake of Akira, which he was heavily considering.
Peele told Business Insider in February he has “four other social thrillers” he wants to create within the next 10 years, and it looks like he scrapped Akira for one of them. While he no doubt would have produced a hit with the famous anime source material, more social thrillers in the vein of Get Out sound amazing.
According to Deadline, HBO gave Peele a straight-to-series order on a one-hour thriller based on Matt Ruff’s 2016 novel Lovecraft Country. The HBO series will keep the same title and follows Atticus Black through 1950s Jim Crow America in pursuit of his missing father. Lovecraft Country, like Peele’s Get Out, involves “the racist terrors of white America and the malevolent spirits that could be ripped from a Lovecraft paperback.”
Peele told Blumhouse that he choose Lovecraft Country over Akira when considering his options between pre-existing material and original content, saying he would rather work on original content despite the huge budget connected with Akira.
Peele will also act as an executive producer for the series along with J.J. Abrams and Ben Stephenson, with Misha Green of the WGN series Underground serving as showrunner and writing the pilot.
“When I first read Lovecraft Country I knew it had the potential to be unlike anything else on television,” Green said. “Jordan, J.J., 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.”
If anything good has come out of 2017 so far, it’s this trend of people of color taking center stage in the horror genre.