American Gods is an award winning novel written by Neil Gaiman. What makes it so special, is that it is a blend of fantasy, and various strands of ancient and modern mythology. Now, Starz has picked it up and developed an eight-episode series about it. We don’t want to spoil the story too much for you, because we are hoping that all of you will go out and get the book to read soon. *Award-winning* people, award-winning.
Why is this adaptation big news you ask? The novel is extremely dense and has an intricate story, so this makes it difficult to bring to life on the screen. The series stars Ricky Whittle as Shadow Moon – the lead character who an ex-convict who is hired by a mysterious Mr. Wednesday, played by Ian McShane. Ultimately, the book is a struggle between old gods like Odin, the Norse god of wisdom, and new gods who have power over media and technology. Whittle says “There’s a storm brewing between the new gods and the old…” in a sneak peek.
This first season of the series, will not encompass the full book. Bryan Fuller, show runner, said he intends for the series to go for about three to four years. Fuller is known for creating a number of critically acclaimed shows including Hannibal and Dead Like Me. There will be some differences between the novel and the show, as is always the case when books become adaptations. One main difference is the introduction of new character Vulcan — the god of weaponry and the forge. This is a god Gaiman created specifically for the tv series, and will be played by Corbin Bernsen, actor from Psych.
This is the third of Gaiman’s books to be brought to life on-screen. The first two, Stardust and Coraline were adapted into movies. The American God series debuts April 30, so check out the trailer here, and maybe read the book while you wait. The series will undoubtedly make much more sense that way.