It turns out the real metaphysical space monster was premium cable’s grueling cancellation cycle, all along. On Friday, Deadline reported that HBO will not be renewing Misha Green’s sprawling genre piece Lovecreaft Country for a second season. The series starred Jonathan Majors and Jurnee Smollett as travelers in segregated midcentury America facing a multitude of horrors, from the homegrown homicidal racist variety and the extraterrestrial-magical variety. Deadline noted that after the series premiered in August of 2020, it set the record for the most-watched new episode of an original series on HBO Max. While season one of Lovecraft Country was based on Matt Ruff’s 2016 fantasy-horror novel of the same name, season two would have seen creator Misha Green carving out a new direction to continue the story.
After news of the cancellation broke on July 2, Green shared an image from the production bible for the show’s second season, which according to her tweet, would have been called Lovecraft Country: Supremacy. Green’s vision for the second season took place in a new country grafted onto a map of the United States, called the “Sovereign States of America.” The map is divided into the “Tribal Nations of the West” spanning from Michigan to California, the “Whitelands” stretching roughly through the Rust Belt down to El Paso, the “New Negro Republic” situated in the South, and the “Jefferson Commonwealth” in the Northeast. It calls to mind the post-American dystopias of The Hunger Games or The Handmaid’s Tale, but with a focus on the nation’s history of white-supremacist racial violence, Confederates, and segregation. Deadline reported that the dystopian map was just one section of “a more than 75-page Bible that was created for a second season of Lovecraft Country,” which we now won’t get to see. Or at least not on HBO, anyway.
Update July 11: Like alchemy’s greatest symbol, the phoenix arising from the ashes, Misha Green has arisen from Lovecraft Country’s cancellation and secured an overall deal with Apple. Variety reported that the deal reunites Green with her former Underground collaborators Apple’s heads of worldwide video Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht, who ran Sony Pictures Television while Underground was running.