How Starz’s American Gods Will Differ From Neil Gaiman's Novel

When it comes to American Gods, Starz has more than enough source material to sort through to create a stellar series. Neil Gaiman's acclaimed novel has over five hundred pages of godly goodness stuffed within its binding, leaving many fans to believe that the show's creative team will be satisfied with following the book. But, apparently, that's not the case. Sources are reporting the television series will feature new stories outside of the novel.

According to Nerdist, American Gods is looking to do some major universe expansion. The site's sources are saying the series will delve deeper into the franchise's 'Coming to America' backstories of several gods. And, apparently, one lucky character is getting some very special attention in that regard.

Everybody's favorite leprechaun Mad Sweeney will have his origin story fleshed out in a big way. The character will be far more involved in the television series than he was in the novel. So, of course, fans are wondering what they will learn about the character.

So far, most speculation is centered about Sweeney's magical coin. The item is a well-known one from the book as it contains some seriously impressive powers that can bring the dead back to life. Shadow Moon uses the coin without Sweeney's knowledge, prompting the leprechaun to go on a search for the relic. Fans are hoping they'll see more of that journey depicted on-screen when Starz premieres American Gods.

Of course, another option could be Sweeney's own 'Coming to America' backstory. Fans may learn how the mysterious character reached North America. After all, Neil Gaiman did send the series' showrunners an extensive description of Sweeney's long life, so they surely know how the leprechaun came to America.

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American Gods has been translated into over 30 languages and earned numerous accolades including Hugo, Nebula and Bram Stoker Awards for Best Novel. The plot posits a war brewing between old and new gods: the traditional gods of mythological roots from around the world steadily losing believers to an upstart pantheon of gods reflecting society's modern love of money, technology, media, celebrity and drugs. Its protagonist, Shadow Moon, is an ex-con who becomes bodyguard and traveling partner to Mr. Wednesday, a conman but in reality one of the older gods, on a cross-country mission to gather his forces in preparation to battle the new deities.

"American Gods" is produced by FremantleMedia North America. Bryan Fuller ("Hannibal," "Pushing Daisies," "Heroes") and Michael Green ("The River," "Kings," "Heroes") are writers and showrunners. David Slade ("Hannibal," "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse") is directing the pilot and additional episodes. FMNA's Craig Cegielski and Stefanie Berk are executive producing the series along with Fuller, Green, Slade and Neil Gaiman.

The cast features Ricky Whittle as Shadow Moon, Ian McShane as Mr. Wednesday, Emily Browning as Laura Moon, Pablo Schreiber as Mad Sweeney, Yetide Badaki as Bilquis, Bruce Langley as Technical Boy, Crispin Glover as Mr. World, Jonathan Tucker as Low Key Lyesmith, Gillian Anderson as Media, Peter Stormare as Czernobog, Orlando Jones as Mr. Nancy, Demore Barnes as Mr. Ibis, and Cloris Leachman as Zorya Vechernyaya.

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American Gods will premiere on Starz in 2017.

[H/T] Nerdist