Jordan Peele passes on Akira remake in favor of new horror series for HBO

Get Out director will adapt Lovecraft Country, a novel about the terrors of life in Jim Crow America

When last we heard from Jordan Peele, the comedian-turned-actor/director was contemplating whether or not to follow up the massive, history-making success of Get Out with a live-action remake of Akira from Warner Bros. That seemed a curious pivot for the artist, who told Consequence of Sound he had “four social thrillers” in his quiver.

Thankfully, it seems he’s staying in his wheelhouse, turning instead to HBO, who just gave Peele a straight-to-series order on a new, one-hour horror drama. According to Deadline, Peele’s Monkeypaw Productions is teaming with J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot and Warner Bros. Television to produce Lovecraft Country, itself an adaptation of the 2016 novel by Matt Ruff.

Peele discussed his decision not to pursue Akira with Blumhouse. “I think [I could do it] if the story justifies it. Akira is one of my favorite movies, and I think obviously the story justifies as big a budget as you can possibly dream of. But the real question for me is: Do I want to do pre-existing material, or do I want to do original content? At the end of the day, I want to do original stuff.”

Lovecraft Country tells the story of Atticus Black, who traverses 1950s Jim Crow America in pursuit of his father, who’s gone missing. As with Peele’s Get Out, Lovecraft Country concerns “the racist terrors of white America and the malevolent spirits that could be ripped from a Lovecraft paperback.”

Misha Green of the WGN series Underground will serve as showrunner, while Peele will serve as an executive producer along with Green, Abrams, and Ben Stephenson.

“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.”

More original horror from diverse voices, please.




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