Neil Gaiman will have “more of a central role” in American Gods Season 2
VOD News | On 16, Jan 2018
American Gods will be returning for a second season at Starz, but the show is not expected to do so for some time, as the production has been hit by a number of departures: first, showrunners Michael Green and Bryan Fuller last year, and then, this year, Gillian Anderson, who played one of the show’s standout characters, Media.
Media is one of the New Gods, who are drawing more believers away from the Old Golds, with their celebrity, technology and money – a shift that causes an epic war to brew. The show is based on Neil Gaiman’s fantasy novel, with Green and Fuller praised for bringing that world to life. Now, Starz has said that Gaiman will take “more of a central role” in the show’s production, as producers at Starz and Fremantle seek to steady the ship.
“We’re having some trouble getting the second season underway,” Starz CEO Chris Albrecht admitted at the winter TCA event over the weekend. “It’s not ideal to have 18 months or two years between seasons.”
He assured the media that they are trying find a way for Bryan and Michael to “continue to be involved” as much as possible, although it’s “a little bit up in the air as to what their role will be”.
Their departure was reportedly down to creative or budgeting differences, but Albrecht insisted that “they were not fired nor did they quit” and added that there is “a very good relationship between Fremantle and Michael and Bryan.
“Everyone’s trying to work this out, everyone wants that to be a win-win for the people involved and the fans, everyone wants to keep as much of the team intact as possible,” he continued.
“Not surprisingly if you’ve seen the show it’s not an inexpensive show,” he commented/ “Budget is always a factor although Fremantle has been terrific in wanting to invest. It’s a big show, it’s a monster show and it’s faced many of the challenges that terrific complex premium shows face trying to get seasons, especially when art comes before commerce.”
Gillian Anderson’s departure, he noted, was “not a surprise”, as she “seems to be leaving everything” – she announced she would not be doing any future episodes of The X-Files too. Kristin Chenoweth also said she may or may not return, but Albrecht said she is “still as far as we know committed to the show obviously depending on her availability”.
Gaiman, meanwhile, will move forward “into a more traditional showrunner function”, he explained. “We’re looking for a partner for him who can ensure that the television part of this get the appropriate attention.
Season 1 of American Gods is available to stream on Amazon Prime Video in the UK. Catch up with our reviews here.
Gillian Anderson exits American Gods
7th January 2018
Gillian Anderson will not return to American Gods for Season 2.
The Great Expectations, The Fall and The X-Files star wowed audiences of the series based on Neil Gaiman’s novel last year, as she took on the role of New Media in the fantasy epic. Attempting to bring Shadow (Ricky Whittle) on to the side of the New Gods versus the Old Gods, she appears throughout the show in the guise of everyone from Judy Garland to David Bowie, giving the series some of its most memorable moments.
However, Anderson has now confirmed that she has exited the show. Speaking to The LA Times, she explained that since the departure of showrunners Bryan Fuller and Michael Green, she is not going to return for Season 2. Their departure was reportedly due to creative and budget differences, after the second run was ordered for an extended 10 episodes. Whether Anderson’s exit is also a result of creative differences with the show’s new managers, or whether she decided to leave herself, is unclear.
It follows a similar announcement by Anderson regarding The X-Files, with the star saying that she would not be involving with any future episodes of sci-fi reboot. Fox’s revival of the programme was popular enough last year to prompt a swift renewal for 10 episodes, rather than six, and that 11th season has just begun airing in the USA – and will begin shortly on Channel 5 in the UK, although no confirmed air date has yet been confirmed.
“It felt like we were finding our way with it,” she told The LA Times. “Part of my decision to come at it again one more time was to have an opportunity to do that. And certainly there’s more of an opportunity with 10 than there was with six, just because of the nature of the show and that it is so many different things, there are so many different worlds that we live in, and aspects of these characters that we get to play, and types of episodes that we do. So to have an opportunity to explore that full range through a larger arc was interesting, and with the hope and the understanding that that perhaps will create a better conclusion for ourselves and for the fans.”
“This is it for me,” she concluded. “It has been an extraordinary gift and I’m incredibly grateful for the existence of Scully in my life and for the gift that Chris gave me in casting me, and my friendship with David, and it’s been a wonderful run, but I’ve got other things to do.”
Bryan Fuller and Michael Green exit American Gods
30th November 2017
Bryan Fuller and Michael Green have stepped down as showrunners from American Gods.
The series, which is based on Neil Gaiman’s fantasy novel, introduced us to a war brewing 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.
“Following a slew of production attempts over the years, including an HBO incarnation and at least one stab at a feature film, Neil Gaiman’s 2001 novel American Gods, a phantasmagorical journey through the immigrant experience and soul of America, finally receives the television treatment… Ostentatious, impressive, timely, beautiful. This adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s novel has been more than worth the wait,” we wrote in our review of the show’s first season.
It was swiftly renewed by Starz for a second run, with that run then being extended to 10 episodes, as the show displayed signs of confidence in both its scale and budget and its storytelling. Now, though, both creators Fuller and Green have departed the production, with Variety reporting that they have clashed with producer FremantleMedia over budget and creative direction.
“Fuller and Green were said to have been pushing for an increase to the series’ budget for season two,” reports Variety, with sources close to the production placing the per-episode price tag for the series’ sophomore outing at almost $10 million.
The news arrived as both Green and Fuller are already attached to other productions. Green is involved with Netflix’s Raising Dion, while Fuller is going to help Apple TV rebooting Steven Spielberg’s Amazing Stories. It follows Fuller’s departure from CBS’ Star Trek: Departure, where he was originally showrunner, after multiple production delays. He remains an EP on that show, however, with the split reportedly amicable at the time.
No new replacement showrunners for American Gods have yet been announced.
American Gods Season 2 extended to 10 episodes
23rd June 2017
The Gods just keep on giving. First, they saw fit to renew Bryan Fuller’s adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s American Gods for a second season – now, The Wrap reports that the sophomore run has been granted an extra two hours to tell its tale.
Speaking to the site, Fuller also teased a faster story for the second season: “Much of the pacing and dreamlike quality of Season 1 was about Shadow Moon’s (Ricky Whittle) mental state, and now that he’s been activated [as a believer], we can expect something a little different from how we’re going to tell the stories.”
“Whenever anyone engages in a faith bargain and they commit to it, they change their perspective in a massive way,” Fuller added. “So the story we get to tell with Shadow in the future is one of a character who’s crossed that first benchmark, which was non-believer to believer. Now that he believes, how does he believe? And how will what’s happened with his wife and Mr. Wednesday shift those beliefs? Suffice to say, Shadow will have a much more exciting arc in Season 2 than he did in Season 1.”
Originally, Fuller also revealed, they had planned to have an additional episode in Season 1, but budgets dictated that the cut it down to eight episodes. On the plus side, he reflected, “we felt if we ended the season one episode earlier, we could have a bigger impact with the story, and also distribute our funds to get the season to where we needed it to go”.
Season 1 of American Gods is available to stream on Amazon Prime Video in the UK. Catch up with our reviews here.
American Gods renewed for Season 2
12th May 2017
American Gods has been renewed for a second season.
The series, which started earlier this month, is based on Neil Gaiman’s fantasy novel, which introduced us to a war brewing 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.
Acquired by Amazon Prime Video exclusively in the UK, the programme has already become the most-watched show on the streaming service. With an overall rating of 8.6 on IMDb and a top critics score of 95 per cent on Rotten Tomatoes, it’s no surprise that Starz has already renewed the show for a second run within weeks of its first season’s premiere.
“We’re delighted to bring a second season of Neil Gaiman’s riveting story to fans across the globe,” says Tim Leslie, Vice President, International, Prime Video. “Audiences have responded overwhelmingly to season one – it is stunning entertainment unlike anything else and we can’t wait for the next series.”
The series stars Ricky Whittle(The 100, Austenland) as protagonist ex-con Shadow Moon, Ian McShane (Deadwood, Pirates of the Caribbean) as Mr. Wednesday, who enlists Shadow Moon as part of his cross-country mission, and Emily Browning (Sucker Punch, Legend) as Shadow’s wife, Laura Moon. American Gods also features Gillian Anderson (The X-Files) as Media, the mouthpiece for the New Gods, Kristin Chenoweth (Pushing Daisies, Wicked) as Easter, Pablo Schreiber (13 Hours, Orange Is the New Black) as Mad Sweeney, and Yetide Badaki (Aquarius, Masters of Sex) as Bilquis.
Episodes 1 and 2 of the series are available on Amazon Prime Video, as part of £5.99 monthly subscription, with new episodes arriving weekly on Mondays, within 24 hours of their US broadcast.
American Gods has officially found Jesus
5th September 2016
It’s official: American Gods has found Jesus.
Jeremy Davies will play the Messiah himself in Starz’s adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s book. While that opening sentence may cause non-fans of the book to do a double-take, it’ll be an even bigger surprise for those who have read it: Christ only gets a brief mention on the page, with Gaiman’s novel instead focusing on gods such as Technical Boy (god of computers and the Internet), Media (the goddes of TV) and The Intangibles (the gods of the stock market). But showrunner Bryan Fuller and co-exec producer Michael Green are making it clear that they’re not afraid to bring their own interpretation to the text.
Davies’ casting marks a reunion between Fuller and the actor, who has previously appeared on Hannibal. It also adds another high-profile role to the Emmy winner’s already-stuffed CV, from Lost’s Daniel Faraday to a part in the new Twin Peaks revival. He’s even, appropriately, appeared in Fox’s Lucifer.
Davies joins an impressive ensemble that includes Ian McShane, Gillian Anderson, Pablo Schreiber, Emily Browning, Crispin Glover and Peter Stormare. Ricky Whittle stars as a thief named Shadow (Ricky Whittle), who finds himself at the heart of a conflict between the old gods and the new.
EW reported Davies’ casting, releasing this official character descriptio: “Resurrected on Ostara’s feast day, Jesus has always been generous in sharing the Easter holiday with the ancient goddess. But the overly empathetic Son of God would be crushed to know that Ostara (Kristin Chenoweth) harbors some deeply buried resentment over the issue.”
The show will air on Starz in the US in 2017, with Amazon Prime Video snapping up the exclusive UK TV rights.
First trailer lands for American Gods
23rd June 2016
“Shadow, we’re going to be releasing you a couple of days early.”
That’s the sound of Neil Gaiman’s American Gods being brought to the TV screen – and Starz has released the first trailer for its epic adaptation at Comic-Con.
The fantasy novel, first published in 2001, has been translated into more than 30 languages and bagged an array of prizes, from the Bram Stoker Award for Best Novel to a Hugo. With its expansive tale of gods in the modern day, it’s the kind of story that seemed destined to head to the screen – but with such scale and complexity, the small screen always seemed more likely than the big.
Now, Starz is stepping up to do the deed, with Hannibal’s Bryan Fuller and Heroes’ Michael Green confirmed last year as writers and showrunners (Gaiman is also exec producing).
The story follows a war that is brewing between old and new gods: the traditional gods of biblical and 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.
The protagonist, Shadow Moon, is an ex-con who becomes bodyguard and traveling partner to Mr. Wednesday, a con man who is actually one of the older gods on a cross-country mission to gather his forces.
Britain’s own Ricky Whittle (of Hollyoaks, Dream Team and The 100 fame) plays Shadow, with a supporting cast that includes everyone from Ian McShane as Mr. Wednesday, Pablo Schreiber as Mad Sweeney, Crispin Glober as Mr. World, Emily Browning as Laura Moon and Gillian Anderson as Media. The latter is absent from the trailer, which gives us a first glimpse of the characters in action (watch out for Peter Stormare’s hammer-toting Czernobog).
Fuller presented the teaser at a Comic-Con panel, alongside Kristin Chenoweth, who was revealed as the latest addition to cast, playing Easter, another of the old gods. There is no confirmed UK TV ohm for the show yet, but we’ll bring you news when we have it. With Amazon already the exclusive UK home of Starz Originals Black Sails, Outlander, Flesh and Bone and The Girlfriend Experience, though, the UK and American TV Gods may well be smiling upon the streaming service.