This story was first published on Outer Places.
The trailer for American Gods is here and it's just as bloody as fans of the book might expect. Creator Bryan Fuller (Hannibal, Star Trek: Discovery) delivers a gritty trailer for the TV adaptation of one of the best fantasy novels of the early 2000s. The show is based on the novel by Neil Gaiman, and its roots stem from the history of American immigrants and the author's own passion for folklore.
The basic setup is this: Shadow Moon (Ricky Whittle), a tight-lipped ex-con, becomes the bodyguard for the mysterious Mr. Wednesday (Ian McShane). In this fantasy world, gods and mythological creatures exist but their powers dwindle as people stop believing in them. Mr. Wednesday is connected to a group of Old Gods who traveled to America way back, and who've been losing power as people begin to believe in New Gods that reflect current American values: media, celebrity, technology, etc. And so our two heroes embark on a cross-country journey to recruit fellow Old Gods to fight the New Gods in what can only be a fantastic war.
"So who are you?" Shadow asks Wednesday in the new trailer. "You wouldn't believe me if I told you," he replies.
David Slade, best known for his work on Hannibal and Hard Candy, is set to direct. His vision is definitely vibrant and gory. We watch someone get sliced in half as blood appears like rain from the sky, a mangled body walk down a peaceful suburban street, a creature approach Shadow with fire shooting like lasers from his eyes, and so forth. The novel was never over the top with its violence, but the warlike attitudes and traditions of many of the Gods were an important part of the story, and that seems to be translating to the show. The violence on display seems tasteful, at least.
It's safe to say we're in for a wild, murder-happy ride with The 100's Ricky Whittle and Pirates of the Caribbean's Ian McShane. The show also stars Emily Browning, Dane Cook, Pablo Schreiber, The X-Files star Gillian Anderson, and Cloris Leachman among others. Gaiman's had some input in the show as well; he's happy with the trailer, at least.
American Gods premieres April 30, 2017 on Starz.
Featured photo of Ian McShane as Mr. Wednesday in "American Gods" via Starz