VIDEO! A Beginners Guide to STARZ new series, American Gods
American Gods has been steadily gathering momentum of epic proportions over the past six months and the expectations are exhilarating. This series, according to Business Insider’s Chris Snyder, has been touted to be “bigger than ‘Game of Thrones.”
The show is based on a best-selling Neil Gaiman novel released in 2001. American Gods is widely believed to be his best work to date. The novel won several awards including a Hugo and Nebula awards. American Gods has a unique beginning. Neil himself revealed the series origin during their panel at this years San Diego Comic Con.
All gods do exist, but only if people continue believing in them and their power is directly tied to the number of their believers. These deities live in the present day among us and are widely varied. Some have survived from Ancient Egypt while others like Media and Mr. World are newly formed.
The PLAYERS: Shadow Moon & Mr. Wednesday
The eight-part first season centers around Shadow Moon portrayed by Ricky Whittle who is released early from prison when his wife is killed. Shadow meets Mr. Wednesday played by Ian McShane on the way to his wife’s funeral. Wednesday reveals his true identity to be the Norse god Odin and hires Moon to be his bodyguard. Wednesday’s power has been waning over the years, however ageing god isn’t going down without a fight. He plans to convince the remaining weakening old gods to join forces an an effort to fight the New.
Casting was a unique experience. Ricky Whittle went through an astonishing number of casting calls for the part. In the video below, author Neil Gaiman shared the story behind the casting process of Shadow Moon and Mr. Wednesday.
Additional Old & New Gods to Remember:
The ancient god Easter is portrayed by the incredibly talented Kristin Chenoweth. Her casting was revealed in a surprise announcement during their panel at San Diego Comic Con last summer. Kristin was ecstatic to join the team and her character is desperate to prove she is much more than chocolate, fuzzy rabbits and colorful eggs.
Other old gods of note include: Mad Sweeney a leprechaun (Pablo Schrieber), the Goddess of Love (Yetide Badaki), the Slavic god of darkness, Czernobog (Peter Stormare), and Vulcan (Corbin Bernsen) an old Roman god who has survived by adapting to modern times. Vulcan is a departure from the original story and was created specifically for the series.
The new gods are lead by Mr. World (Chrispin Glover) who is eerily omniscient. Other new gods are comprised of Gillian Anderson as manipulative Media and Technical Boy (Bruce Langley) who embraces all things technical.
You do not have to read the book before watching the series.
Fans of the book and newcomers to the story have been assured to equally be satisfied by the TV adaptation. The Show Creators and author Gaiman promised to have something for everyone. “If you’ve read the book you are you are definitely ahead of the people who have not read the book, but we have surprises for you too.”
Show creators Michael Green and Bryan Fuller are the driving force of adapting the book to screen. I personally was thrilled to learn of Fullers involvement with the series as he was also the creative force behind the darkly, beautiful and deeply disturbing Hannibal. Michael Green is an equally wonderful choice and was a producer for another favorite series of mine, Heroes. Personally, the cherry-on-top in my eyes came in learning each has enjoyed casting incredibly talented actors with whom they have worked with on previous projects. This information has me hopeful to somehow see Hannibal’s Mads Mikkleson once again on the screen every week.