When reports broke that Starz was set to bring a live-action adaptation of American Gods to life, fans were naturally concerned about the endeavor. Of course, they were not the only ones; Author Neil Gaiman had his fair share of worries about the project, but his close involvement with the series ensured the writer had a say over the show’s direction. This weekend, American Gods debuted to rave reviews, but the show did not always impress. According to one showrunner, the pilot episode originally left Gaiman “deeply concerned” over American Gods’ future.
In an interview with The Wrap, Michael Green said the first episode Gaiman watched had him fearing the worst.
“There were many cuts … the first time he [Gaiman] saw the first cut of the first episode, he was deeply concerned,” Green admitted. “It was part of the process. We were not happy with it either.
“I think he was worried we were happy with it, when really, we were in the very, very early days of putting the thing together,” he continued. “It’s funny, he told us a story of how he was watching it, holding his head in his hands and a friend was watching that cut with him and said, ‘well, maybe the show just isn’t for you.'”
As for now, Green said he is confident that American Gods is the kind of show Gaiman would give his approval to. The showrunner said more cuts were made, and the premiere’s final edit left the entire team satisfied.
“I do believe that at this point, after we’ve all worked on it to get it to our own satisfaction, it is finally a show for Neil Gaiman,” Green stressed.
American Gods posits a different kind of war brewing—one between Old Gods and New. The traditional Old Gods, with mythological roots from around the world, fear irrelevance as their believers die off or are seduced by the money, technology, and celebrity offered by the New Gods. Shadow Moon (Ricky Whittle) is an ex-con who, left adrift by the recent death of his wife, becomes bodyguard and traveling partner to conman Mr. Wednesday (Ian McShane). But in truth, Mr. Wednesday is a powerful old deity, on a cross-country mission to build an army and reclaim his lost glory.
American Gods stars Ricky Whittle as Shadow Moon; Ian McShane as Mr. Wednesday; Emily Browning as Laura Moon and Pablo Schreiber as Mad Sweeney.
Other cast members include Yetide Badaki as Bilquis, Bruce Langley as Technical Boy, Crispin Glover as Mr. World and Orlando Jones (“Madiba,” “Sleepy Hollow”) as Mr. Nancy. Additional cast include Gillian Anderson as Media; Kristin Chenoweth as Easter; Jonathan Tucker as Low Key Lyesmith; Cloris Leachman as Zorya Vechernyaya; Peter Stormare as Czernobog; Chris Obi as Anubis; Demore Barnes as Mr. Ibis, Corbin Bernsen as Vulcan and Mousa Kraish as The Jinn.