The casting news trickling in over the past few weeks has been plenty satisfying. Ian McShane! Ricky Whittle! Orlando Jones! Gillian Anderson! It's even been fun to speculate on all the gods who will make appearances in American Gods, the show based on Neil Gaiman's novel of the same name. But nothing beats getting a taste of the actual show, set to air in 2017, and today the gods have been gracious!
Entertainment Weekly has an exclusive first look at an early scene. A scene fans of the book will easily recall as an important one to set the story rolling. In these exclusive pictures, we can see main character Shadow (Whittle) at Jack's Crocodile Bar, with Mr. Wednesday (McShane), Shadow's new employer, perched at the bar in the background. This is where Shadow first meets Mad Sweeney (Pablo Schreiber), a hard-drinking, fist-fighting Irishmen who calls himself a "Leprechaun," even though in the book he's nearly 7 feet tall.
This is a fun scene to get a glimpse of as it rather perfectly encapsulates the seedy, Americana ambiance of the novel. The story of American Gods is somewhat of a road trip-type tale, with the duo of Shadow and Mr. Wednesday traveling throughout the country to gather the old gods for a battle against the new gods.
Showrunner Bryan Fuller (Hannibal) had this to say about the scene:
“It was one of the sets that we were the most excited about and an opportunity to do a tonal landgrab for what we are and what the style of the show will be. “[Jack’s] is a kind of hillbilly chic aesthetic for Shadow’s entrée into the world of the gods.”
They certainly went big with the crocodile theme of the bar. And McShane as Mr. Wednesday is so perfectly in character. Fuller agrees McShane is perfect as Wednesday:
“I think the comedy and charm and ease of Wednesday’s appeal is very well-suited for Ian McShane. He has a vibrancy as Wednesday that could have gone so many different ways in other actors’ hands, but has such a specificity and reality, despite the situation at hand.”
Speaking of the fight between Shadow and Sweeney, showrunner Michael Green says that while Whittle as Shadow is “very genuine and grounded ... we want to watch him be introduced to and beaten up by this new reality.”
But considering Shadow is meant to serve as a bodyguard of sorts to Wednesday, it makes sense he'll be seen in plenty of on-screen fights. As for what else we can expect, Fuller praises Gaiman's writing and the way it sets the show up for success:
“Neil created this wonderfully stuffed toy box filled with all sorts of cultural points of view on how American operates as a system, and that was so fascinating and mythological in and of itself.”
In a world full of superheroes — a different sort of American god — who have now made their way to the small screen in the past few years, Green clarifies that this show will stand out:
“It’s really much more of an immigration story than it is a god story. One of the biggest challenges was stripping the idea of gods as X-Men or giant empowered creatures who stomp on cities and throw the oceans. We wanted them to be people with problems. It’s not about lightning bolts – it’s about the question of day-to-day survival.”
Thus far this is excellent news for fans of the book, as the series sounds like its themes will be in keeping with what the novel explores. Not to mention, do we really need another superhero show at the moment? Though, to be fair, Wednesday (or Odin, as he's known more commonly) gets plenty of comic book representation in Thor's films. Gods and heroes will never get old and American Gods could easily become our new favorite show.
Source: Entertainment Weekly
How's the show look to you? Will you watch it on Starz next year?