Obsession is what turns TV shows like Game of Thrones and Breaking Bad into phenomenons. It's collective, it's unstoppable. Obsession is also what creates gods in Neil Gaiman's massively acclaimed novel American Gods, which is now being turned into a TV series, which could, just maybe, be our next big obsession.
What's The Story?
American Gods is the story of Shadow Moon. Released from prison just as his wife and best friend die in a tragic accident, Shadow becomes drawn into the world of an enigmatic con artist named Mr. Wednesday.
The book, steeped in mythology, is based on the premise that gods exist as a form of thoughtform, which is kind of a fancy way of saying that they exist because people believe in them, and without that belief they will wither. When the novel begins, that belief has already withered, and New Gods reflecting Western culture's obsession with celebrity, media, money, drugs and tech have risen.
Mr. Wednesday is actually the alias of Odin, the God of wisdom, who takes Shadow on a road trip across America trying to ready the Old Gods for a war with the New in the hope that they will be worshipped once more.
The gods are not deities in the sky, but human beings living on Earth among men. The New God of tech basically just looks like a fat, badly-dressed teenager. If the story already sounds complicated, it's easy to see why it's taken so long to get a TV or movie made (HBO tried and failed).
There are no dragons, but you can probably expect tits.
Who's In It?
Playing the lead role of Shadow is Ricky Whittle, a Brit actor best known for playing Lincoln in CW's The 100. He's criminally attractive, which should help. Ian McShane (Deadwood, John Wick) and Emily Browning (Legend) also star, but more interesting is what's going on behind the camera.
Bryan Fuller, the undisputed visual genius who made NBC's Hannibal into such a cult classic, has teamed with Michael Green (he's writing Wolverine 3) to adapt Gaiman's novel for Starz, and Gaiman describes the footage he's seen from the first episode as "shit-hot," which sounds promising.
[Bryan Fuller] and Michael Green have been writing these really powerful scripts, the casting is shit-hot … and [so is] the footage that I’ve seen. Bryan [has] a vision … It’s definitely hyper-real, and it’s gorgeous.
For Hannibal fans, I'm sure that sounds familiar.
American Gods will premiere on Starz sometime in early 2017.