The TV adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s bestseller American Gods has been in the works at Starz since 2014. Two years later and the author himself, who is serving as an executive producer on the series alongside co-showrunners Bryan Fuller (Hannibal) and Michael Green (Heroes), says he’s finally seen some footage, and his description of what the series has in store should be enough to get fans of the novel even more excited than they already are.
Aside from a continual stream of casting news, Gaiman’s account of what Fuller and Co. have cooked up is the closest anyone has come to seeing what the show is going to look like. Given the incredible visual aesthetic of past Fuller series like Wonderfalls, Pushing Daisies, and certainly the gorgeous, macabre nightmare of NBC’s Hannibal, it’s no wonder Gaiman has been impressed. Along for the ride is frequent Fuller collaborator David Slade — who directed the pilot of the aforementioned Hannibal Lecter series and arguably set the tone for what that show would look like — so this new series stands a good chance of being a sight to behold.
In a recent interview with Digital Spy, Gaiman described what he’d seen of the series so far:
“He [Bryan Fuller] and Michael Green have been writing these really powerful scripts, the casting is s*** hot… and the footage that I’ve been seeing is also s*** hot.”
“It’s got that thing where the production designer and the director and Bryan all have a vision…It’s definitely hyper-real, and it’s gorgeous, and I’m so looking forward to seeing a rough cut of something… when they finish one!”
That’s right, though Gaiman has nothing but kind words, he has yet to see a full episode. Filming only recently began in April and according to Gaiman, the first three episodes are being shot concurrently, so there are no completed episodes just yet.
Despite the lack of a complete episode, Gaiman expressed nothing but confidence in Fuller’s take on his novel:
“For me, American Gods is a novel about the immigrant experience as much as it is anything else,” he said. “It’s about coming to America and becoming American, and what you have to give up and what you’re allowed to keep…For Bryan, I think it’s a show much more about belief… and belief is one of the engines that drives American Gods, but it’s much more important, I think, in Bryan’s vision.”
Even if Gaiman doesn’t have a lot to go on yet, it’s great to hear that the show is in development and that things are moving forward. The series has taken a rocky road to the small screen. Fans of the book have been eagerly awaiting the series since it was first announced in 2011 — when it was originally going to be put on by HBO. Despite plans being announced for a six-season run on the premium channel, and the project being backed by Tom Hank’s production company Playtone, none of that panned out. The project was revived in 2014 when FreeMantle media picked up the series and Starz finally greenlit the project. Lastly, Bryan Fuller was brought on as showrunner along with former Heroes partner Michael Green.
Gods is a long and strange story, interspersed with intricate mythology and personal tone. Along with God’s built-in fan base and the success of other fantasy epics like Game of Thrones, it’s easy to see why Starz wanted the series, but the comparisons end there. American Gods is very much its own thing and it’s exciting to think fans will finally get to see what that looks like.
American Gods is set to premiere on Starz in early 2017.