In less than a week, the nearly four-year wait for a new episode of Atlanta comes to an end.
While the trailers for Season 3 have effectively given fans little to work with regarding what they can expect, creator and star Donald Glover provided another morsel, summarizing the approach in the writers’ room as wanting to “make a black fairytale.” According to Variety—spoiler alert—the first episode of Season 3, titled “Three Slaps,” will barely feature any of the show’s main characters, and instead follow a young boy named Loquareeous.
There will be nods to viral videos of the past, such as the children dancing in the classroom after finding out they were going to see Black Panther or the kid who was forced to do Fortnite dances as a punishment for acting up in school. “I like to describe Atlanta as a group thread in real life. We’re just shitting a group text thread,” writer and producer Stefani Robinson said of the humor in “Three Slaps.” “We’re just cobbling together internet videos that make us laugh.”
“We just wanted to make a black fairytale,” Glover added. “I remember sitting in the writers’ room and being like, ‘What do we write about?’ We just wanted to do short stories. Something I would want to watch.” The larger plot of the first episode turns out to be a reimagined telling of the death of Devonte Hart, a 15-year-old Black child who was tragically killed in a murder-suicide in 2018.
Devonte first became a part of the public consciousness through a 2014 photo of him tearfully hugging a white cop during a Black Lives Matter protest in Portland, Oregon, following the fatal shooting of Michael Brown at the hands of officer Darren Wilson. Devonte died in a car accident when his adopted parents, Jennifer and Sarah Hart, drove their vehicle off a cliff in California, killing him and their five other adopted children.
Glover also discussed an old tweet in which he claimed that Seasons 3 and 4 of Atlanta would be “some of the best television ever made. [‘The Sopranos’ are the] only ones who can touch us.”
“I talk my shit on the internet,” he said of the since-deleted tweet. “I said Sopranos and shit. I’m not backing down from that shit. I’m holding my nuts out on that shit. I just want [audiences] to know this shit is good. It’s high quality shit. I hope you can have cursing [in your story].”
Glover also revealed that Jaden Smith was slated to appear in a later episode that tells the story of a character who gets shot in the pilot, but scheduling issues preventing that from happening. “We never did it because Jaden Smith was busy. We were supposed to release it online, just read[ing the script], which we still could do,” Glover said. “Stephen wrote it. It’s really good.”
Season 3 of Atlanta will debut on FX on March 24.