Peele and Abrams bring new HBO series to Cinespace

HBO's new series is based on Mark Ruff's novel of the same name

Jordan Peele and J.J. Abrams are bringing their new HBO series to Cinespace Chicago Film Studios.

Titled Lovecraft Country, the series is based on Matt Ruff’s 2016 novel of the same name. According to IMDb, the story is about “a young African-American (who) travels across the U.S. in the 1950s in search of his missing father.”

In January 2018, the heads of Cinespace pitched their studios to HBO, and clearly the meeting was a success. Lovecraft Country will be the first HBO series to be filmed at Cinespace Chicago.

According to Cinespace Chicago’s President Alex Pissios, the show has already moved into offices at the former Ryerson Steel headquarter building that anchor the Cinespace Campus.

Other offices at the location include Netflix’s Beats and Comedy Central’s South Side, which begins filming in May.

Pissios also remarks that Lovecraft Country will “start filming sometime in July.”

Cinespace is a natural fit between HBO, Abrams, and Peele. One of its slogans is “Bringing Hollywood to Chicago,” and the claim is no exaggeration.

Since 2011, Cinespace’s list of credits has been as long as it is impressive. Empire, Chicago Fire, Chicago PD, Divergent, Shameless, Office Christmas Party, Electric Dreams, Rampage, The Chi, Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon, and Chiraq are just a few.

When speaking of HBO’s arrival at Cinespace, Pissios emphasizes, “It’s great that they’re putting a footprint in Chicago. More shows are more jobs in the community. It’s a stepping-stone.”

After the enormous success of Peele’s Academy Award winning Get Out, he is arguably one of the hottest filmmakers in the country. While a New York native, Peele has a solid Chicago connection.

Before becoming a celebrity comedian on Comedy Central with Key & Peele and Mad TV, Jordan Peele was performing at The Second City.

Now, he returns to Chicago at Cinespace with HBO and one of the world’s other most-famous filmmakers, J.J. Abrams.

The combo is an intriguing one for fans and filmmakers alike.

Contact Joey Filer at or follow him on Twitter @FilerJoey.