Right out of the gate, Starz’ American Gods has proven itself to be a hit with critics and the television audience.
Based on the 2001 novel by Neil Gaimen, it focuses on Shadow Moon, who gets an early prison release following the death of his wife. Shortly thereafter, Shadow finds himself in the employment of a man named Wednesday, who in reality is the god Odin. Although Shadow isn’t quite clear on this, Wednesday is having them travel across America in an effort to gather the ancient gods who are going to have to battle the new gods of Media, Technology and Guns, who are growing stronger every day.
The series has been adapted for television by Bryan Fuller and Michael Green, and anyone familiar with Fuller’s TV version of Hannibal shouldn’t be surprised at the frequently surreal nature of American Gods. He laughs, “I think our imaginations are fairly vivid and when we're reading something that is as inspiring as Neil's novel, it's hard not to grab the baton and run. If anything, we've checked each other a couple of times where it's, like, ‘Uh, that may be too big and too weird," and for us to say that to each other, you know it's big and weird.”
“It's more where we live and we have the opportunity to do it,” adds Green, “but it's also why we were drawn to Neil's writing and, specifically, this book is that it allowed us to bring our imagination to life, even if it was going to be lavish, difficult, and expensive.”
He credits Fuller’s ability of taking the ideas in his mind and being able to share them with other people by actually bringing them to life. “It’s one thing to do that on the page, it’s another thing to be able to do that with visual images,” Green muses. “There were images on the show, sequences on the show, that Bryan described to me when we were in the writing phases and I could imagine very vividly, but the process of being able to actually put that on the screen takes an incredible amount of work, dedication, and clarity of purpose. I've been very much enjoying working with Bryan and learning how he manages to extract from his own mind the best idea and extract from the talented artists we work with the visual representation of those ideas.”
Fuller and Green have brought together a variety of performers who are breathing life into Gaiman’s creations, and what follows is a guide to some of them.
Beware, because there are some spoilers in here!
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Not much is known about this character except that he will be an adversary to Wednesday, and one of the few beings that can actually threaten him.
Michael Green: “We knew we were including a character called Mr. World, who's very evasive and elusive in the book. We know to be fearful of him, but we wanted to think of attributes that would make that character and that role a worthy adversary for Mr. Wednesday. The thing we asked ourselves is, ‘What are the things Mr. Wednesday would be frightened of?’ We started talking about just the idea of fear of everything about you being known. Living in a world where privacy has been so willingly hemorrhaged by people and that there are no secrets to be kept. Someone who believed in hegemony and the extreme social democracy and wanting to level the playing field of faith. Things that could be incredibly compelling instead of just outright villainous.”
Image via YouTube