Game of Thrones Showrunners to Create H.P. Lovecraft Movie for Warner Bros.
HBO’s Game of Thrones creators are back, and despite the pair no longer being a part of the Star Wars universe, they are not lacking opportunities to bring their “talents” to the screen. The latest project for collaborators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, so says Variety, is that they have signed on to produce an untitled thriller based on the graphic novel Lovecraft for Warner Bros.
Details about the project are not yet known, but according to the article, sources say Benioff and Weiss’ take will tackle the idea of infamous horror author H.P. Lovecraft’s otherworldly creatures being real. Here’s the summary of the graphic novel source material:
A fascinating but disturbing study of one of America’s greatest horror writers, the intense LOVECRAFT examines the bizarre life of author and recluse, Howard Phillips Lovecraft. Since his early childhood in the late 1800’s Lovecraft was haunted with dark visions of demons and death. Trapped in a world of macabre creatures and grotesque thoughts, the writer found escape only by weaving his living nightmares into fictional blood curling horror stories. An uncensored tour into a troubled mind, this beautifully painted hardcover edition traces the toils of a man considered both mentally ill and genius as he stumbles across the fine line between reality and insanity.
On the one hand, that sounds like an interesting premise for a film. On the other hand, I’m really suspicious about the idea of incorporating Lovecraftian creatures into “real-life” unless the people behind it have a really solid understanding of the premise of a lot of Lovecraft’s own creatures. The complicated thing about H.P. Lovecraft is that while his work is, in many ways, genius, interesting, and genuinely spooky, we are also very aware that they are the works of a mentally ill, reclusive, xenophobic racist, who was afraid of technology and minorities invading his space.
People say that this was common of the time and therefore we shouldn’t care, but honestly, #NotAllOldTimeyWhitePeople, and there is no reason we can’t address the bigotry of dead authors—especially when it’s based on his own life.
Does that mean the works aren’t worth adapting? In my opinion, they are still great stories; you just need the right people behind the scenes. I am simply not sure Benioff and Weiss are the right people, especially because they have shown that, when it comes to dealing with non-white people in a fantastic/science-fiction setting, they have chosen to lean into the problematic nature of the tropes rather than subversion. For me, if you do Lovecraft, that means you are trying to address those issues the way Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff did.
I’m also disappointed about them being attached to this because Guillermo del Toro was trying to adapt At the Mountains of Madness, but the project was shelved due to budgeting. Del Toro is an Oscar-winning director and he still cannot get the budget or trust of major industry heads to make the weird stuff he loves. The Shape of Water won an Oscar!
Well, better this than Confederate.
(If you do want some quality Lovecraft content, this video by Overly Sarcastic Productions both shows the cool aspects of Lovecraft and makes fun of his bigoted aspects at the same time. Balance.)
(via Variety, image: ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images/Lucius B. Truesdell)
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