“First and foremost, it was a wonderful platform to talk about faith and belief and where we put our energies in this country,” said American Gods executive producer Bryan Fuller of what attracted him to bringing Neil Gaiman’s acclaimed novel to the small screen. “Then you look at the fantastic characters, gods and mortals, and it is a vast toy box,” he added of the Starz series that debuted on April 30.
Fuller was speaking about the wide-ranging and recently renewed American Gods onstage at Deadline’s The Contenders Emmys event earlier this spring. The Hannibal alum was joined at the DGA Theater by fellow EP and co-showrunner Michael Green and stars Ian McShane and Ricky Whittle.
The mythological fantasy drama based on Gaiman’s 2001 novel of the same name focuses on the Deadwood star’s Mr. Wednesday and 100 vet Whittle’s ex-con Shadow Moon traversing the American landscape, literally and culturally, as a war is brewing between the old gods and the new. In such a narrative, themes of faith, race, immigration, media and technology, come to the fore in the jambalaya that is the country.
“I think the big thing that’s changed since 2001 and 2017 is the proliferation of social media and what that means to everyday citizens who are now hemorrhaging their privacy,” Fuller told the packed theater, divulging how the first season of American Gods updated Gaiman’s work for today’s realities, digital and otherwise.
In addition to McShane and Whittle, the “genre-busting and glorious buddy road show,” as I call American Gods in my review of the 8-episode first season, also stars Emily Browning, Orlando Jones, Gillian Anderson and Pablo Schreiber.
Also among the cast of the FremantleMedia North America-produced show: Yetide Badaki, Kristin Chenoweth, Jonathan Tucker, Omid Abtahi, Cloris Leachman, Corbin Bernsen, Bruce Langley and Crispin Glover as Mr. World. Simply put, as I also say in my review of the show, American Gods has “a cast that would make up the full talent base of most other outlets’ entire schedule.”
With that, check out the video above of my conversation with the creative and core cast of the show – just as the god Media would desire this Sunday.