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Jurnee Smollett-Bell Joins HBO’s ‘Lovecraft Country’

Jurnee Smollett-Bell has been cast in one of the lead roles in the upcoming HBO drama series “Lovecraft Country,” Variety has learned.

The role reunites Smollett-Bell with Misha Green, the writer and executive producer of “Lovecraft Country.” Green was the co-creator and showrunner of the WGN America series “Underground,” on which Smollett-Bell starred as escaped slave Rosalee.

“Lovecraft Country,” based on the book of the same name by Matt Ruff, follows 25-year-old Atticus Black, who joins up with his friend Letitia “Leti” Dandridge (Smollett-Bell) and his Uncle George to embark on a road trip across 1950s Jim Crow America to find his missing father. They must survive and overcome both the racist terrors of white America and the malevolent spirits that could be ripped from a Lovecraft paperback.

Letitia is described as having hustled her way across the country as an artist protesting for civil rights and now finds herself back home looking to plant some roots.

Along with her role in “Underground,” Smollett-Bell has also appeared in shows like “True Blood,” “Parenthood,” and “Friday Night Lights.” On the film side, she starred in “The Great Debaters” opposite Forest Whitaker and Denzel Washington, “Roll Bounce,” “Gridiron Gang,” and “Beautiful Joe.”

She is repped by ICM Partners, Management 360 and Nina Shaw of Del, Shaw, Moonves, Tanaka, Finkelstein & Lezcano.

HBO gave “Lovecraft Country” a straight-to-series order last May. In addition to Green, Jordan Peele is executive producing through his Monkeypaw Productions banner. J.J. Abrams and Ben Stephenson will also executive produce through Bad Robot Productions. David Knoller will also executive produce, with Yann Demange attached to executive produce and direct the first episode. Bad Robot and Monkeypaw will produce in association with Warner Bros. Television

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