ByPeter Flynn, writer at
An advocate for understanding the phenomenological wonder of the moving image. Also Tremors is the best.
Peter Flynn

"As one door closes, another one opens" said a man who completely misunderstood the function of doors. It does make for a pretty juicy metaphor though, and it's something that's applying particularly to fans of Bryan Fuller shows. It seemed an utter tragedy when Hannibal, Fuller's most ambitious endeavor yet, was cancelled with seemingly no possibility of being salvaged by the gods of Netflix and Amazon.

Alas, we're soon treated to the news that Fuller will be managing a TV adaptation of cult favorite fantasy novel, American Gods, with original author Neil Gaiman along for the ride in an executive producing role. That all sounds fantastic! I can't wait for it to be cancelled at the start of season 3! We're being brought American Gods by perhaps the best people for the job, and it only cost us one Hannibal! There's still the question of exactly what this show will look like. Gaiman's writing style is at once incredibly visual, and interpretable, so let's look through a few of the most popular styles in television that could fit the upcoming American Gods!


You had a good run.
You had a good run.

So being Bryan Fuller's most accomplished work yet, this is the obvious, and most likely candidate to be the inspiration for American Gods. Fuller's perchance for shooting dark and disturbing with the most beautiful clarity certainly complements Gaiman's style. There's a languid, almost sedated feel to much of Hannibal that parallel's the somewhat unreal journey of Shadow through North America. Despite Hannibal not exactly being a supernatural story, the sumptuous, morbid imagery would fit the dour and sometimes violent world of American Gods.


Sam and Dean owe a lot to American Gods
Sam and Dean owe a lot to American Gods

I have to admit; when I first read American Gods, I simply couldn't help but think of Supernatural. The format of someone traipsing across America, stumbling upon strange towns where other worldly beings that seem to have always been there is a feature that these stories share. As silly as some people may dismiss Supernatural as, it's very nearly become American Gods itself, with the theistic side of the show coming to dominate ever since season 6! Would it be worth Bryan Fuller's adaptation trying to capitalize on the avid Supernatural fandom out there?

True Detective

True Detective needs a worthy successor!
True Detective needs a worthy successor!

What with the lukewarm response True Detective Season 2 has been getting, the upcoming American Gods now has the chance to be more True Detective than True Detective. True Detective. The unsettling atmosphere that Season 1 nailed is the very essence of magical realism. Everything being normal, with just the idea that some supernatural force could swallow you up any second is one that plays with the idea of magic and superstition. It's an aura that would lend an uncanny and nerve-wracking feeling to American Gods!


Here's a slightly weird suggestion. iZombie was a recent example of how some TV shows can still rock goofy supernatural storylines Buffy the Vampire Slayer style, and carry a dedicated fan base over into Season 2 to boot! This kind of structure would only be worth it if Fuller's American Gods wanted to REALLY depart from the source material, and reduce Gaiman's bizarre epic to what amounts to a fun procedural. How likely would this kind of move be? Well, Neil Gaiman is acting as executive producer. Go figure.

Twin Peaks

Could Agent Cooper be beaten to the punch?
Could Agent Cooper be beaten to the punch?

So while the revival of Twin Peaks is still fiddling around deciding what it wants to be and who should be involved, why doesn't Bryan Fuller just make the successor to Twin Peaks? Hannibal was weird, but it never quite hit surrealist levels. We're yet to see a show in recent years that pulls off the bizarre chaos of David Lynch's classic, and I genuinely believe Bryan Fuller is up for the challenge. As with True Detective, Twin Peaks has that feeling of sinister magic lingering beneath the surface, and like the original American Gods, Twin Peaks literally has gods appearing in mundane yet frightening forms. That should be reason enough!

Which of these suggestions is your favorite? Are there any shows not listed here that you would like to see American Gods draw inspiration from? Let us know with a post here on MoviePilot, vote in our poll, or leave a comment below!


Which show should influence Bryan Fuller's American Gods?


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