Neil Gaiman talks American Gods the show, sequel

American Gods

Neil Gaiman and the team behind American Gods

In an interview with Collider, author Neil Gaiman discusses how he feels about the current adaptation of his novel, American Gods, and how things are going for the sequel.

Gaiman was asked whether the television adaptation of his novel matched what he had imagined while writing it. He admits that it is not exactly the same but he is very pleased with the result. Gaiman said:

“What you do is you delight in what your collaborators do and what your collaborators bring. Occasionally, you wind up saying, “No, it really isn’t like that,” or you do what I did with Sandman, over the years, where an artist would do something and you’d go, “Okay, well, you did this thing. Next time, could you do it more like this?” You try to push it towards the thing that you have in your head, but you know that not only do you never get there, you also know that the joy and the magic comes from seeing what other people have in their heads.”

American Gods, S1 Ep 5 – Lemon Scented YouHe goes on to praise the casting of the show, saying that though some of the actors were not what he initially imagined them to be when writing American Gods, he now cannot think of anyone else playing these characters, particularly Mr. Wednesday and Laura Moon:

“What’s interesting is that what will probably happen now is that the next time I come to write Wednesday, he will sound a whole lot more like Ian McShane. Ian’s lovely delivery is so amazing that he’s replacing the slightly gruff Wednesday in my head with a much more charming version. You realize that he is a confident man, and you just want to trust him. No matter what else is going on and what else he’s doing, you will trust Ian McShane. That performance has American Gods, S1 Ep 4 – Git Gonedefinitely crept in there. For me, the honest joy of it is watching what people bring to things.

Did the Laura in my head look like Emily Browning? No, she didn’t. She was taller and paler and had longer, darker hair. Could I imagine anybody but Emily Browning in that role now? No, absolutely not! I love this. That is the strange joy of casting. That is the strange joy of making fiction.”

The interview also delved into the topic of giving the female characters more depth and more screen time. For the most part, American Gods the book focuses on its two male leads and while there are several female characters (both mortal and otherwise), they are not as prominent as Shadow and Mr. Wednesday. This has been changed for the show, and Gaiman approves of it:

American Gods, S1 Ep2 – The Secret of Spoons“I love it! It was what we hoped. I remember talking with Bryan about Laura, in particular. And I love how he’s taken Bilquis and expanded her role, as well. He decided to bring Easter on earlier and give Media more to do. All of those things make it feel much less like a very male road trip. It’s all stuff that I suspect, had I had another thousand pages, I probably would have done a lot more of in the book, but I didn’t. But, I do now.”

Gaiman admits that he has provided some key information about American Gods 2 to ensure that it can be included in future seasons of the show just in case,“If I’m killed in a horrible road accident, or possibly just killed in an awful baking disaster, you’ll know what this is for and you can keep going.”

As for the sequel, the author says that it’s probably five years away. In the meantime, fans will have enough to enjoy with the television show as there is at least four seasons’ worth of material left to cover, just from the first book. Gaiman admits that the themes explored in the book and the show are as relevant today as when the book was first published. The idea of the different “gods” that we continue to worship today and how fleeting their reigns are because of how fast the world changes, remains a very compelling subject.

American Gods season one airs every Sunday on Starz.

Read our reviews of the series HERE.