As Bryan Fuller (Hannibal) develops one of the more intriguing TV series adaptations on the horizon, American Gods for Starz, the source book’s fan base will be enthused to hear the producer’s long game plans for the project. Fuller has previously compared his adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s award winning novel to the Game Of Thrones formula of following many pockets of characters in different locations that all orbit around a central plot.
Add the godly powers of Gaiman’s deity characters and you have a similar premise to the vast and cross referencing Marvel Universe. In fact, this is the reference the showrunner has made, discussing his aims for the future of American Gods – including, how it has ample potential for crossovers with Gaiman’s other related work and even spin-offs down the line (should the show be as successful as every fan is hoping).
In American Gods, myth, folklore and legend are personified as a group of gods living among us, trying to survive the fading belief of their worshipers – competing with the brand new gods of the modern world and navigating the ever changing culture of Americana. Down on his luck protagonist Shadow is freshly released from jail and grieving the loss of his girlfriend when he encounters the oracular Mr Wednesday who offers him a job as his bodyguard. This begins a wild journey across America and into the theme of belief and its meaning in modern society.
Fuller is developing the series with Michael Green (Smallville) and Gaiman is showing his support by serving as executive producer and writing at least two episodes for American Gods season 1. Fuller spoke to Crave Online in regard to whether the series can encompass Gaiman’s “Anansi Boys” book spin-off, when he mentioned said comparison between the fantasy concepts of gods and superheroes:
“Well, we don’t have the rights to Anansi Boys but we’re hoping that we will eventually. Mr. Nancy is going to play a major role in the series and potentially what we’re looking at with American Gods is developing a Marvel Universe, not with superheroes but with gods. As detailed and integrated as the Marvel Universe is, and doing that with deities is something that excited all of us……. So who knows? In success we may have spin-offs of American Gods that follow lesser gods in greater detail than you might in the main series, but there’s all sorts of potential for this show that we’re very excited about and I hope the audience is as enthusiastic as we are so we can bring those dreams to fruition.”
Fuller went on to clarify his interpretation of the definition of who/what these folklore gods represent – being a different kind of character that is fairly unexplored within the fantasy genre – and whether the American Gods series could encompass any superhero-esque characters:
“I think ideally these gods become superheroes in their own right, and I think that is their goal, of trying to reignite belief in them will give them more power to become those heroes that they promised their believers that they will become. So there is a heroic interpretation…… Or are you asking, in the rules of the universe, since the rules hinge on thought form – which is, if you believe in anything enough, it manifests into reality – that if we believe in Superman will we manifest him into reality?…….. It’s an interesting question. We don’t necessarily cross over into those kind of broader superheroes but we do extend the thought form umbrella over other things that Americans believe in and may have manifested into reality because of those beliefs.”
These comments will be further fuel to fans enthusiasm that Fuller is an excellent choice to interpret this beloved novel. Other fantasy creations (including the Marvel Cinematic Universe) have established a successful model for encompassing various branching threads that expand whilst sharing a world – and hearing that this is the ideal plan for the unique American Gods is both exciting and reassuring that the content is in very good, author endorsed hands.
We will continue to keep you informed of any American Gods news and developments as they happen.
Source: Crave Online.