The Starz series American Gods will finally get to Neil Gaiman's book sequel by season 6 - assuming he's finished it by then. In anticipation of the series' delayed second season, Gaiman revealed that the unpublished sequel will continue the series' narrative and take it into exciting new directions.
Based on Gaiman's novel of the same name, American Gods centers around a man named Shadow Moon (played by Ricky Whittle) who is recently released from prison. Shortly after his release, he's introduced to a god named Mr. Wednesday (played by Ian McShane) who hires Shadow as his personal bodyguard. This opens up an entirely new world to Shadow, in which the Old Gods and New Gods are at war with each other over relevance and power. The series also stars Emily Browning, Crispin Glover, Yetide Badaki, Bruce Langley, and Orlando Jones, and as the series edges its way towards its second season, Gaiman, who served as an executive producer on the first season, and will act as a creative consultant on season 2, opened up about his long-awaited book sequel to American Gods and how it will factor into the Starz series.
We spoke with Gaiman at New York Comic Con 2018, and he explained that he always intended to leave room in the series for the book sequel, saying "there are hooks built into American Gods that the sequel clips onto. And some of them are big and obvious, and some of them are almost invisible, and only I know how they work." By the second season, American Gods has hardly breached the midway point of the novel, so Gaiman expects to cover the second book by around season 6 of the series. He said:
"If we make it through 5 seasons and we get to finish the book, and then we’ve done the stories of Shadow in the UK, I can get to roll up my sleeves and do the story of Shadow’s return to the US. But that’s a long way down the line.”
American Gods ran into some behind-the-scenes issues after the first season when showrunners Bryan Fuller (Star Trek: Discovery) and Michael Green (he co-write Logan with Scott Frank and James Mangold) left the show. This was then followed by clashes between the cast and American Gods' creative team, as well as the loss of yet another showrunner, Jesse Alexander (Hannibal).
However, seeing as behind-the-scenes snafus are nothing new in the entertainment industry, the odds aren't entirely against American Gods, and the series is perfectly capable of sustaining itself long enough to reach the storyline in Gaiman's book sequel. Not unlike the recent Stephen Kingaissance, Neil Gaiman is very much in demand, and he currently has four other projects outside of American Gods that are in development (Good Omens, which he's serving as showrunner on, The Sandman, The Graveyard Book, and The Thing About Cassandra). So, given the author's unabating popularity, the heavens may be smiling down on American Gods after all.
Season 2 of American Gods will premiere on Starz in 2019.