In 1916, a story called The Alchamist was published in the United Amateur Press Association. It was the first of many horror stories published by H.P. (Howard Philip) Lovecraft, who had written the story a few years earlier while still a teenager. Lovecraft was inspired by Edgar Allan Poe, though his stories were generally based in fantasy and the supernatural. While he wrote numerous works of fiction, he was never a commercial success in his lifetime. Lovecraft died from cancer at the age of 46 completely impoverished.
Since his death, Lovecraft has gained a large following. Fans are so dedicated to him that a number of them raised money to buy him a headstone in 1977. His work is a huge influence on modern day horror. Traces of Lovecraft can be found everywhere in the genre, from Stephen King‘s novels to movies to board games to comic books.
And now some of those comics are becoming animated films. A series of three comics were written by Bruce Brown and Dwight L. MacPherson, one of which — Howard Lovecraft and the Frozen Kingdom — was already adapted into an animated movie in 2016. Now the second film, Howard Lovecraft and the Undersea Kingdom, is in the works. According to Deadline, joining the cast is Mark Hamill as Dr. Henry Armitage.
Hamill is of course best known for playing Luke Skywalker in the original Star Wars trilogy, as well as Star Wars: The Force Awakens and the upcoming Star Wars: Episode VIII. When he is not in a galaxy far, far away, Hamill frequently lends his voice to various animated series and films. Notably, he’s been voicing Batman’s arch-nemesis The Joker since the 1990s, most recently in Batman: The Killing Joke.
Hamill joins actors Christopher Plummer and Doug Bradly who are returning from the first movie. Also joining the cast is Jeffrey Combs, who has starred in several horror movies based on Lovecraft stories, including cult favorite Re-Animator and its sequels. In Re-Animator, Combs played medical student Herbert West, in these new animated films Dr. Herbert West is played by Plummer.
The comics and films tell the story of a young Howard Lovecraft. True stories from Lovecraft’s life are mixed in with original stories as well as some of the characters, locations, and fantastic creatures from Lovecraft’s own works.
Howard Lovecraft and the Undersea Kingdom is being produced, written, and directed by Sean Patrick O’Reilly and released by both Shout! Factory and Arcana Studios. The film’s release is scheduled for late 2017.