Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman poured their heart and souls into ‘Good Omens’ in 1990 and you have to wonder how this cult classic novel is going to end up on the small screen. Gaiman has seen quite a bit of his work adapted to film, television, radio dramas, and even operas at this point so it should come as no surprise that he’s put a lot of work into figuring that out.
We won’t see the mini-series drop until 2019, but the birth of it came directly from when Pratchett passed. As Gaiman put it:
“Terry never asked for anything in 30 years of friendship. He wrote me, ‘Look, you have to do this because you’re the only person with the same passion for the old girl as I have. You have to make this, and I want to watch it.’ And then he died fairly shortly after, which left me in this place where it was now a last request and something that I had to come through on.”
It is hard to say no to the last request of a close friend, let alone when it was one who you both created a fan-favorite work of fiction with.
While Gaiman was adapting the work, the biggest thing that gave him pause was the fact that he had co-written the story as:
“It was frustrating as a writer because when I got stuck, I didn’t have Terry to call and say, ‘Hey, I’m stuck,’ and when I did something really clever and got unstuck, I didn’t have Terry to phone up and say, ‘Hey, I did this clever thing!’ But I was determined to make a Good Omens that Terry would’ve liked. And the only way that I knew how to make that was to make a Good Omens that I would like.”
The memory of Pratchett’s contribution to the story has also helped shape what we’ll see on television as:
“I was much, much, much, much more difficult than I ever would have been with one of my things. Because with my things, I tend to [react to changes by saying], ‘Oh, good! No, try it!’ Whereas, with this, it was like, ‘People want to cut this scene?! But Terry wrote this scene! This scene is not going to be cut!’ And I got to be much more of a bastard.”
‘Good Omens’ is about the end of the world, but it is also full of heart and humor. In fact, it is the emotional areas which help the comedy shine, so Gaiman wanted to make sure that they came through on screen. If the following is any indication, it’ll have worked:
“When I found myself getting sniffly a couple of times in episode 6, I said, ‘Okay, it’s working.’ If I — who am intimately familiar with this — am actually getting a little bit sniffly, then this thing is real.”
Just like the book which has come to be loved by millions of people, it sounds as if this mini-series has the potential to be the same.
Are you looking forward to Gaiman’s streaming take on ‘Good Omens’? Do you think that he’ll do just as an amazing job in the director’s chair as he did co-write the work? Share your thoughts below!
Source: Entertainment Weekly