Release Date: 8/16/20, Series Premiere; HBO
Director: Yann Demange
Studio(s): Bad Robot, Monkeypaw Productions, Warner Bros. Television, HBO.
Cast: Jurnee Smollett-Bell (Letitia Dandridge), Michael Kenneth Williams (Montrose Freeman), Aunjanue Ellis (Hippolyta Black), Courtney B. Vance (George Black), Jonathan Majors (Atticus Black), Wunmi Mosaku (Ruby Dandridge), Demetrius Grosse (Marvin Baptiste), Abbey Lee (Christina Braithwhite), Jamie Chung (Ji-Ah), Jordan Patrick Smith (William).
Story: Drama series based on the 2016 novel by Matt Ruff, follows Atticus Black as he joins his friend Letitia and his Uncle George to embark on a road trip across 1950s Jim Crow America in search of his missing father. What follows is a struggle to survive and overcome both the racist terrors of white America and the terrifying monsters that could be ripped from an H.P. Lovecraft paperback.
Atticus (Majors) is a Korean war vet who always has a pulp novel in his back pocket, and wears his heart on his sleeve despite the daily injustice of living in Jim Crow America. His father, Montrose (Williams), however is hard headed and secretive, and always believed you can’t live in a fantasy world — making him less-than-thrilled about his son’s love for pulp novels. It’s Atticus’ uncle (Vance) who’s always been more like a father to him. Warm, funny, and well read, he was the first to introduce Atticus to the wonderful and strange world of pulp novels. As the publisher of the “Safe Negro Travel Guide” he’s been on enough adventures to understand there’s no place like home.
Letitia “Leti” Lewis (Smollett) hustled her way across the country as an artist protesting for civil rights and now finds herself back home to plant some roots. Her half-sister Ruby (Mosaku) is also a hustler, but her hustles haven’t paid off. Her family ties are tested when she’s presented with an offer she can’t refuse. Hippolyta Freeman (Ellis) is a star-gazer who’s been a housewife most of her life, but has dreams of getting into some adventures of her own. Her itch for adventure will eventually, literally and figuratively, take her to the stars and beyond.
Eustice Hunt (Harris), is a sundown county sheriff with a NAACP complaint file a mile long, and a marine tattoo on the back of his neck so the enemy has something to aim at, gets more than he bargained for when he crosses paths with Atticus; Ji-Ah (Chung) is a seemingly naive nursing student who is thrust into active service when war breaks out, and a rash of soldier disappearances suggests she is more than what she seems.
Christina Braithwhite (Lee) is the only daughter of the leader of a secret order calling themselves the “Sons of Adam.” She’s gone to great lengths to earn her father’s respect, but to no avail. She’s going to pave her own path to power, and use Atticus and his family to do it. William (Smith) is Christina’s henchman, lover, bodyguard, spy, or whatever else she may need him to be. Blonde-haired, blue-eyed, he’s the “perfect specimen” for the Aryan race.
Produced by Misha Green, J.J. Abrams, Jordan Peele, Bill Carraro, Yann Demange, Daniel Sackheim and David Knoller. Source: HBO.