Answers surrounding the abrupt cancellation of Lovecraft Country after one season – a decision which was near inexplicable for fans and critics who though of the HBO original series as groundbreaking – but a new book has revealed why the show’s run was cut show.
Tinderbox: HBO’s Ruthless Pursuit of New Frontiers by James Andrew Miller contends that the set was, as the title would indicate, a toxic powder keg, and that atmosphere was ginned up by no other than the showrunner Misha Green.
In an excerpt from the book, Miller writes that sources told him that not only was the environment during the making of the show “not a healthy one,” but that the two public reasons given for the plug being pulled aren’t accurate.
“Lovecraft was a beautiful show in terms of its look, its narrative and what I would also consider to be an exceptional marriage of storytelling and music,” writes Miller. “When the show got canceled, there were two predominant explanations out there. One was [that] it had gotten too expensive. The second was there wasn’t a compelling vision for the next season.”
However, he then reveals, “It turns out neither was the real reason. I had several sources within HBO and elsewhere — people who worked on the show and people who represented people on the show — who said the environment on the show was not a healthy one.”
According to Miller, this unfortunate turn of events brought only “sadness” for HBO’s advancement of Green, a Black showrunner.
“For HBO, it was a double-down on sadness — not only is it losing a show that was such an outlier in terms of what it was trying to say, but then to have a Black showrunner — and a female Black showrunner — is not something that happens every day, and people were incredibly excited about that,” he says. “So, again, the word I come back to is ‘sadness’ that it was not able to continue.”
Green, who was in the middle of writing a second season of the series titled Lovecraft Country: Supremacy when it was canceled and has since signed an overall deal with Apple TV, has not yet commented on these allegations.
While some hope Lovecraft Country will be re-upped by Apple, the likelihood of such a continuation is unlikely. Green has since moved on to a new project for HBO Max and is now working on a Black Canary solo movie starring Lovecraft Country star Jurnee Smollett in a reprisal of her role from Birds of Prey.
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