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Austin’s SXSW Conference and Film Festival got off to a hot start with the premiere screening and panel for American Gods. The Starz series, set to premiere on April 30, is based on English writer Neil Gaiman’s novel of the same name. Based around a reality where deities are born from the belief of humans, it follows the characters Shadow Moon (Ricky Whittle) and Mr. Wednesday (Ian McShane) in a cross country quest that observes ideas of faith, change, and free will. If you haven’t seen the trailer which premiered at last year’s San Diego Comic-Con, you can find it here. In a time when reality television and good Wi-Fi connectivity seem as essential as a warm hearth and good harvest, Bryan Fuller (Pushing Daisies, Hannibal) and Michael Green (Heroes) took some time to discuss the upcoming series.
Most importantly, the creators wanted to do Gaiman’s work justice. According to The Hollywood Reporter both men consider themselves fans of the original work. As a fan himself, Green explained how it’s possible to keep his fellows happy while bringing pages to a medium like television: “Anytime there’s something loved, people always remember it in a way that’s going to be different [from what an adaptation creates], but if we do our jobs well enough we get to change the way people remember their readings.”
As fans(?) of Dinotopia will tell you, not every adaptation will hit the screen as big as Homicide: Life on the Street or Game of Thrones. One of Fuller and Green’s plans to make their project pop is by examining some of the untold stories of the novels, something they describe as “chapters between chapters.” Additionally, certain events will be moved around for the purpose of better visual storytelling.
One change that the creators were rather excited about was a stronger presence of female characters. Per The Hollywood Reporter, Fuller says “We’re very excited to expand on several of the female characters. The book tends to be a sausage party.” The premiere teased the addition of such actresses as Cloris Leachman and Gillian Anderson.
Unfortunately, not much information is available regarding the premiere itself due to the Starz April 17 embargo on the series. No official reviews will be made available to the public until that date. Per a statement from Starz published on IndieWire, “The network has requested press respect the embargo since they will be receiving the first four episodes for review shortly after the screening. Unlike film, reviewers of episodic television prefer to review off more than just the pilot episode.” That means viewers will have a month and some change to wait until they can dive into information about the new series. Until then, diehard fans will likely be diving back into the novels and brushing up for what looks like a potential breakout hit.
Stay tuned with mxdwn Television for more information regarding American Gods and developments out of Austin’s SXSW Festival. American Gods premieres April 30 at 9 pm on Starz.