Today’s roundup also heralds the end of our beloved “Game of Thrones,” but muffles the blow with some Edward Gorey illustrations for “War of the Worlds.” Enjoy your Daily Blunt!
While Jordan Peele definitely intends to capitalize on the cinematic success that awaits him in the wake of “Get Out,” the breadth of his ambition is far greater still. Variety reports that Peele will be executive producer for a new HBO anthology series called “Lovecraft Country,” a potent blend of ’50s Jim Crow-era social commentary mixed with horror elements inspired by H.P. Lovecraft. He’ll be aided in this adaptation of Matt Ruff’s recent novel by J.J. Abrams and Misha Green, so there’s basically something here for everyone — especially fans of Lovecraft who feel guilty about idolizing an author whose racism and hate “weren’t merely a product of his times.”
If you’re wondering how you’ll ever make time to add another series to your ever-expanding roster, I have good news and bad news: “Game of Thrones” producer Frank Doelger has made comments suggesting the show’s seventh season will also be its last, “if we all survive and if the audience stays with us.” That means that author George R.R. Martin will definitely be writing and releasing books that carry on past the events of the series, proving that old fable about the tortoise and the hare. At the end of the series, fans will be right back where they started, hanging on Martin’s every word.
ELLE leans in hard where our “The Handmaid’s Tale” recap leaves off, scrutinizing the character Serena Joy (played by Yvonne Strahovski) whom they consider “the scariest anti-feminist villain yet.” Atwood’s original vision of the character as an older and more out-of-touch Christian televangelist was intimidating at the time, but the article points out why Hulu’s version is a more insidious indicator of our times: “If conservative women still looked like that Serena Joy, young women would be able to see them coming… That’s why the standard anti-feminist model today is not to attack, but to co-opt. Instead of arguing that women ought to be stripped of rights for “moral” reasons, conservatives increasingly argue that giving away those rights is empowering.” This new Serena Joy is a firebrand author and major behind-the-scenes influence — really, the only reassuring thing you can say about her is that she’s (mostly) fictional.
In anticipation of this new BBC adaptation of War of the Worlds, let’s do a little time-traveling back to the 1960s and geek out over an edition of H.G. Wells’ classic illustrated by Edward Gorey, whose deceptively simple drawings managed to evoke the kind of fear and wonder that most filmmakers can’t even accomplish with a $100 million production budget. Or as Open Culture puts it, “To evoke a complex mixture of fascinated anticipation and creeping fear, Gorey never needed more than an old house, a huddle of silhouettes, or a pair of eyes glowing in the darkness.” While this edition is long out of print, you can still find copies of it for sale online.