Starz has announced a release date for the highly anticipated adaptation of American Gods, Neil Gaiman’s most ambitious novel. Bryan Fuller and Michael Green’s adaptation premieres at 9 p.m. EST on Sunday, April 30.
The main premise of the show concerns Shadow (Ricky Whittle), who is released from jail only to find out that his wife has died. On the way home, he encounters a wily con man named Wednesday (Ian McShane) and becomes involved in a strange and surreal road trip populated by characters from mythology, folklore, and religion. It’s looking like Starz wants American Gods to be Game of Thrones, and this premiere date gives it a two-month head start on Thrones’s rumored return on June 25.
This first season will tackle roughly one-third of Gaiman’s sprawling story and increase the presence of characters who played minor roles in the novel. Most notably, Gaiman has said that the fourth episode will explore the backstory of Shadow’s dead wife, Laura Moon, and he has even invented new characters for the show like Vulcan, the god of guns. Jesus, who’s only featured in the novel’s post script, will also play a larger role.
For a book that comments on the American culture, staying spry and making changes is of the utmost importance, considering how society has changed since it was first published in 2001. The show boasts an all-star cast that includes Gillian Anderson, Orlando Jones, Emily Browning, and a surprisingly well-cast Dane Cook, in addition to Ricky Whittle and Ian McShane, and Bryan Fuller has already spoken out about his fatigue with prestige television’s attitude towards sex.
Before American Gods makes it on television, there’ll be a world premiere and post-show Q&A session on March 11 at South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas. Showrunners and cast in attendance will include Bryan Fuller, Michael Green, Ricky Whittle, Ian McShane, Emily Browning, Pablo Schreiber, Crispin Glover, Yetide Badaki, Bruce Langley, Orlando Jones, Jonathan Tucker, and Betty Gilpin.
Move over Game of Thrones. There’s a new fantasy giant in town.