Fans of Neil Gaiman’s award-winning novel American Gods have less than two months left to wait for Starz’s highly-anticipated, eight episode adaptation to be released. The project has attracted some commendable names, has two very notable showrunners at the helm, and the participating endorsement of the author himself.
Now it is down to the network’s marketing team to amp up their campaign ahead of the show’s April 30th premiere, and the latest teaser to drop is a shiny new motion poster (see above) -proving that even Gods are not immune to the weather!
American Gods is based on the premise that a deity’s power is derived from the faith of their believers. The cultural melting pot of the U.S.A has left a diverse assortment of Gods from old mythologies, struggling to survive in a climate of waning belief and threatened by the birth of new Gods, created from humanities recent preoccupation with such phenomena as fame, media, and technology. An ex-con, Shadow Moon, is recruited by the enigmatic Mr. Wednesday for a cross-country adventure, as the old Gods prepare to battle the new.
Brian Fuller (Hannibal) and Micheal Green (Heroes) are combining their experience of the fantastic and macabre as showrunners. The central character Moon will be played by The 100‘s relatively unknown Ricky Whittle, with the rest of the cast fleshed out with more veteran names, such as Ian McShane as Mr. Wednesday (the Norse God Odin) who can be seen alongside Cloris Leachman’s Zorya (from Slavic mythology) in the new motion poster. They will be joined by Crispin Glover (Mr. World), Gillian Anderson (Media) and Kristin Chenoweth (Easter) among others.
If the adaptation remains as faithful to its source material as expected, casting actors known for realizing larger than life characterizations on-screen could be a smart decision, juxtaposed with the unknown qualities of Whittle as the quietly stoic Moon. Much will ride apon McShane’s performance as the charismatic swindler Mr. Wednesday and his complex relationships with the fallen-from-grandeur personalities of the other old Gods, and the contrasting personifications of familiar modern subjects represented by the new Gods.
From the marketing released so far, it is clear that Starz and the creators are investing in the vast symbolism of mythology and Americana that inspired Gaiman’s exploration within the novel, and showing faith in their casting choices. These elements should allow for some compelling viewing in terms of style and potential for both comedy and drama. Fans (old and new) will be able to judge which Gods they want to weather the storm this Spring.
American Gods will premiere on Starz on April 30th 2017.