American gods, indeed. Yesterday, Starz greenlighted the series order of Neil Gaiman’s multiple award-winning (Hugo, Nebula, Bram Stoker, Geffen, etc.) fantasy novel, which will be adapted by the positively brilliant Bryan Fuller, along with Michael Green (Kings). Neil himself will serve as an executive producer — that is if he can stand the excitement. The author made a wonderful statement that echoes fan reaction; just one look at Hannibal and you know Bryan Fuller is the creative mind who’ll get this done right.
“I am thrilled, scared, delighted, nervous and a ball of glorious anticipation. The team that is going to bring the world of American Gods to the screen has been assembled like the master criminals in a caper movie: I’m relieved and confident that my baby is in good hands. Now we finally move to the exciting business that fans have been doing for the last dozen years: casting our Shadow, our Wednesday, our Laura…”
With Hannibal Fuller has proven he can take wildly popular books (and films) and do more than justice to them; he’s practically reinvented them, while still keeping the characters’ integrity. Fuller injected new life into Thomas Harris’ world, created an impossibly gorgeous show, and writing dialogue that puts other series to shame, and I can hardly wait to see what he does with Gods. The showrunner seems equally excited, immediately tweeting out the header illustration with the hashtag #CastingShadow — the team may already have someone in mind.
“Almost 15 years ago, Neil Gaiman filled a toy box with gods and magic and we are thrilled to finally crack it open and play. We’re grateful to have Starz above us and FremantleMedia at our backs as we appease the gods, American or otherwise.” (Fuller/Green)
Fuller has also assured fans the cast will be diverse as it should be, saying,
“…Shadow is described as… is he a gypsy? Is he Hispanic? Is he black? Or is he all of those things in one? So we know that he is not white!
One of the things I’m most excited about for American Gods is the diversity in the cast because there’s such a wide range of ethnic Gods in the world. Right now, we’re imagining two white roles and everybody else is non-white, so my goal, Michael’s goal, certainly Neil’s goal has been to have a very ethnically diverse cast. That’s important to all of us.”
***Book Spoiler warning!
I was raised Catholic, (Michael Green) was raised Jewish, so we both have fascination with these great mythological stories, so we were talking over lunch one day about how we both want to work together again on something, then American Gods came up … There’s so much of that book that is a story of Shadow and Wednesday, and our approach is almost anthological — but we wouldn’t tell the network ‘anthological’ — in that we get to see Bilquis, who we see eat a man with her vagina in one chapter of the book and is never seen or heard from again. She’s a main character. We get to tell stories that start 5,000 years ago in ancient Babylonia and then see how she came to the modern day.”
The major cast are expected to be announced at Comic-Con (July 9-12), as per Gaiman’s wishes. American Gods will likely air late in 2016.
(Header photo via Bryan Fuller)