Lena Waithe, the Emmy-winning screenwriter and producer behind Netflix’s Master of None and Showtime’s The Chi, is behind a new anthology horror series called Them, set to premiere on Amazon. Writer Little Marvin penned the pilot, and it was good enough for Amazon Studios’ head Jennifer Salke to give the series a two-season, straight-to-series order.
The first season will be dubbed Them: Covenant, and will follow a black family in 1953 that moves from North Carolina to an all-white Los Angeles neighborhood. The Hollywood Reporter writes that their “tree-lined, seemingly idyllic street becomes ground zero where malevolent forces both real and supernatural threaten to taunt, ravage and destroy them.”
“Little Marvin’s script stayed with me for weeks after I read it,” Waithe told THR. “He’s written something that’s provocative and terrifying. The first season will speak to how frightening it was to be black in 1953. It will also remind us that being black in 2018 is just as horrifying. This anthology series will examine the cultural divides among all of us and explore us vs Them in a way we’ve never seen before.”
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“I’ve always felt that dark, surreal times deserve dark, surreal mirrors to show us ourselves,” Little Marvin added. “And at this point in time, one of the best ways to examine fractures in our world is through the visceral and raw lens of horror. I’m beyond thrilled that our series has found its home with the fine folks at Amazon.”
Marvin isn’t wrong. With the success of Get Out, there’s blossomed a desire for genre stories from creators of color. Get Out‘s Peele, for example, is currently developing a number of genre series, from HBO’s Lovecraft Country to CBS’s Twilight Zone reboot to Nazi-hunting thriller The Hunt, which is also premiering on Amazon. Amazon has a number of projects in the hopper; in addition to The Hunt, there’s their billion dollar Lord of the Rings series, Matthew Weiner’s The Romanoffs, and that mythic Dark Tower reboot.