With less than a month to go now before the premiere of Bryan Fuller’s (Hannibal) ambitious TV adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s 2001 novel American Gods, Starz is ensuring that hype levels are cranked to the max with a steady drip of posters, trailers, looks at the opening credits and last but not least, these character promos. Today, it’s the turn of co-leads Shadow Moon (Ricky Whittle) and Mr. Wednesday (Ian McShane), each one getting an enigmatic peek into what they’ll be facing in the eight episode series.
Neither of these give much away, but they’re a quick snapshot of the some of the surreal visuals and ideas that will populate the book. The Shadow Moon promo is the most striking, featuring such ominous portents as a burning tree (and a buffalo with flaming eyes) and the interior of a limousine populated by bizarre half-people (for my money, this is the doing of Bruce Langley’s Technical Boy).
For those unfamiliar with the concept, American Gods imagines a conflict between old and new Gods. Expanding themes present in his groundbreaking Sandman comic series, the book posits that the gods exist purely because people believe in them. Unfortunately for the ancient gods like Odin, Anubis, Anansi etc., most people have lost faith, leaving them de-powered and struggling through a mortal world. Replacing them are the new gods – based around technology, media, celebrity and drugs. We follow Shadow, newly released from prison as he accepts a job as bodyguard for Mr. Wednesday, who he assumes to be nothing but an old conman. But soon he’s drawn into an age-old conflict that promises to blow his mind.
I read American Gods back during its release and thankfully, my memory of it has faded enough to not know exactly what’s going to happen. But what I do remember is that it’s awesome, and I can’t wait to see what Bryan Fuller and Starz have made of it.