"A Prayer For Mad Sweeney" was a favorite episode for a lot of fans in season 1, and I understand that there's another Mad Sweeney episode on the way in season 2. Pablo, can you tell us anything about that?
Schreiber: Yeah, we're going to get a bunch of backstory for the character. So it's the same as last season, it's episode 7, and it sort of functions as the history of Mad Sweeney. Most of it takes place in the old country, and it's about how he became who he was prior to coming over to America. And it's interlaced with the current day descent into madness slash one shot at final retribution, and in the end is something that I think will truly leave fans excited.
As far as Laura knows, Mad Sweeney's only sticking with her because he wants his coin back, but we now know it's more complicated than that because he had a chance to take it back, but didn't. So how does Mad Sweeney and Laura's relationship evolve in season 2? Is there a romantic element to it?
Schreiber: I certainly wouldn't call it romance. They hate each other too much to be romantically involved. But they're now, at the end of the first episode of season 2, they realize that they have a common enemy, and the general arc of season 2 for them is their common goal of revenge and retribution, and their journey towards that as the season goes on.
They have such great chemistry and banter, those two characters. Are they mainly together for season 2?
Schreiber: Most of my scenes are with Emily. Outside of episode 7, where... we're separated, in the course of that episode, so she's somewhere else in that episode. But other than episode 7, all of our stuff is together, yeah.
The first season only covered the first 100 or so episodes of the book, and I understand in season 2 we're not going to get as far as Lakeside. Do you have any idea how many seasons are being planned?
Schreiber: Oh, about 12 seasons. We'll keep it simple.
Whittle: [Laughs] At the end of the day, Neil Gaiman mentioned at New York Comic-Con that he feels the book... I think when he started this process with Bryan Fuller and Michael Green, they kind of planned out five seasons for the book, as just the general target. But it could be more, it could be less, depending on how we go about the story, because there's so much there in the source material with Neil Gaiman's book, but what we've been able to do is use it more as a blueprint and expand and flesh out characters who are sporadic or feature very little in the book - like Mad Sweeney, who's only in the book twice. Laura's very sporadic, Bilquis is hardly in there, as is Tech Boy, Mr. World and so forth. So fans are kind of getting what they love in the book, and so much more.
So with all this and with Neil Gaiman's other stories featuring these characters, like Anansi Boys and Monarch of the Glen, there's so much scope for taking it beyond. Neil's even writing a sequel to American Gods. But I feel for now that we're looking at around maybe five seasons, but again that evolves, depending on character dynamics and story evolution - things could get bigger, or we could compact it all as well.
Like you said, there are characters like Salim and the Jinn who were previously only featured in one chapter, but now have their own ongoing story arc. Are they on their own for season 2, or do they end up being part of the bigger story as well?
Schreiber: They're intertwined into the bigger story, for sure. They're almost always together, but yeah, they're used in the broader picture of the larger story.