Have you ever wondered what spirits drive the forces we pay attention to? Writer Neil Gaiman has. He created an entire world around the concept in the award-winning novel, American Gods, now being adapted for television by Bryan Fuller (Hannibal, Pushing Daisies) and Michael Green (Green Lantern, Heroes). The old gods of America's many immigrant cultures are still around, living beside us but they have been forgotten; they have been replaced by the gods of today.
One of these new gods is the Technical Boy, the spirit of our electronic playthings. When the novel was originally released in 2001, the villain was depicted as a fat, bratty, nerd-child who cruised around in a limo causing problems for the heroes. In developing Technical Boy for the small screen, Fuller and Green saw the character in a different light, and decided to make a few changes to be more in tune with 2016.
Delivering yet another image from the still-in-production series, EW has dropped the first photo of Technical Boy's updated look for the new show.
Co-showrunner Michael Green went into detail about the character's redesign to be more of a reflection of present day:
"Technology has gone from something that was the province of the young to something ubiquitous and in your pocket, and the aesthetics of that have changed. Technology very much has a tie into fashion, which goes in cycles and changes overnight. What’s in fashion, technologically, and what’s in fashion, in fashion, are minute to minute and you can’t possibly keep up. And we look to the Technical Boy to be someone who’s very much a victim of both. The idea of feeling like you have to feed the beast of what’s new and what’s fresh is very much in his mind."
But Technical Boy's look isn't just keeping up with the times, it's dependent on them, but you also shouldn't expect the pictured look to be the character's uniform for the entire show.
"Nothing he’s wearing could have been accomplishable 15 years ago when the book first came out. His clothes reflect modern methods that even we were introduced to for this [show].
Every time you see the Technical Boy, he’ll be in something else, completely different regalia," Green promised. "Like a lot of people in that period, he’s constantly trying on new looks and new personas."
The show's need to update its villains for the modern day amusingly falls right in line with the themes from the book. The old gods may be forgotten, but they are timeless, while the new gods scramble to assert their superiority during shifting times. The novel's imagery was absolutely crucial to personifying the forces of belief, so it's heartening to see the creators putting so much thought into how these characters appear on screen. Though with Fuller's eye for fashion and creative, oftentimes whimsical or terrifyingly beautiful imagery, it's no surprise that this character will have a striking look to him. With an amazing cast and the involvement of Gaiman in the creation of the series, this could be the rare novel adaptation that really does have the best of all worlds.
American Gods is expected to air on Starz in 2017.