Adaptation is a tricky balancing act that requires respect for the source material and recognition of the medium's limitations. Translating a revered and classic novel like American Gods with its massive and loyal following is an altogether different challenge. Author Neil Gaiman's legendary book is a dense and rich exploration of society's relationship with deities both small and large -- it's little wonder that it took such a long time to reach television screens.
Gaiman is an award-winning veteran of comic books, graphic novels, screenwriting, short fiction, and long-form novels with a decided slant towards folklore. What makes his body of work so interesting is that he's as adept at writing children's stories as he is at engaging comic book fanboys -- no small feat that. Adaptations of his works have been painfully slow to reach fruition, and the author himself is known to be very guarded with his praise and criticisms alike.
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TheWrap recently spoke with showrunners Michael Green and Bryan Fuller to get their impressions of Gaiman's reaction to an early cut of the pilot episode. According to Green:
"There were many cuts... the first time he [Gaiman] saw the first cut of the first episode, he was deeply concerned. It was part of the process. We were not happy with it either. I think he was worried we were happy with it, when really, we were in the very, very early days of putting the thing together. It’s funny, he told us a story of how he was watching it, holding his head in his hands and a friend was watching that cut with him and said, ‘well, maybe the show just isn’t for you.'”
As the editing process continued, a stronger and final cut emerged that seemed to meet everyone's incredibly high expectations. Green explains:
"I do believe that at this point, after we’ve all worked on it to get it to our own satisfaction, it is finally a show for Neil Gaiman."
Early reviews for the pilot episode have been very strong, including LRM's own Anthony Esteves (you can read his thoughts by clicking the link above).
How do you feel about the Starz adaptation of Gaiman's American Gods? Do you think it's faithful to the novel? Let us know in the comments down below!
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