The miniseries adaptation of Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett’s Good Omens has cast Jon Hamm in the role of the archangel Gabriel. David Tennant and Michael Sheen are already on-board the small screen adaptation as lead characters Crowley and Aziraphale: a demon and an angel who join forces to prevent the coming of the end of days.
The reputedly-unfilmable 1990 novel Good Omens was at one time set to be made as a movie directed by Terry Gilliam (with Robin Williams and Johnny Depp lined up for the lead roles), but financing on the project ultimately fell through (as so often happens to Gilliam). In 2016, Gaiman announced that, per the request of his deceased partner Pratchett, he was writing the scripts for a six-part Good Omens miniseries. Amazon announced in January of this year that it was going forward with Good Omens, describing the project as a “comedic apocalypse” miniseries.
With Good Omens now before cameras, the key role of the archangel Gabriel has been filled with Mad Men and Baby Driver star Jon Hamm. Series writer and showrunner Neil Gaiman spoke about the casting of Hamm as Gabriel, a messenger of God whose image contrasts with that of Michael Sheen’s Aziraphale:
“He is everything that Aziraphale isn’t. He’s tall, good-looking, charismatic and impeccably dressed. We were fortunate that Jon Hamm was available, given that he is already all of these things without even having to act.”
The role of Gabriel was small in the original book, but Gaiman says it’s been expanded for the TV series. Gaiman explained that the angels’ roles were set to be expanded for the film version that never came to fruition, and he knew that when he was writing the series, he needed to stick with that idea. Hamm himself says he was a fan of the book almost from the time it came out, and was one of those people who thought it could never be filmed. Good Omens has also cast Jack Whitehall, Michael McKean, Miranda Richardson and Adria Arjona.
With Hamm jumping aboard Good Omens, the project now boasts a powerhouse cast of actors who’ve proven themselves both in film and on television. Hamm’s hard-drinking, womanizing ad exec Don Draper remains one of Peak TV’s most iconic anti-heroes, while his performance this year as the maniacal Buddy in Edgar Wright’s Baby Driver proved he can also sleaze it up and play an outright villain if called upon. Hamm has proven his deft comic touch on multiple occasions, most notably as the cult leader Richard Wayne Gary Wayne on Netflix’s Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.
Gaiman is himself in the middle of a very hot period, with the adaptation of his novel American Gods going into a second season on Starz. Gaiman is also trying to bring his Sandman comic to TV screens.
Good Omens premieres on Amazon in 2018.
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