As ‘American Gods‘ was written 16 years ago it was interesting to see what would be updated since the novel’s release and Neil Gaiman had some time to share his thoughts about the direction of the Starz adaptation. With technology and social issues changing yearly. there has been a lot of things which could change, and Gaiman was quite surprised how much little did. Not only that, but he talks about stories that he hasn’t had a chance to tell yet related to the world he created.
When talking about the changes, they appear to have been more cosmetic than anything:
“You know it was really interesting because I had no idea when we started what would be updated. I remember going, hang on, this was written in a world where there were cell phones, but there were no cell phones. Oddly enough, most of the things we had to change were window dressing and wallpaper.”
One larger change was how much they expanded upon Laura Moon from both her job to her history:
“Laura’s job cannot be small town travel agent anymore because there are no more small town travel agents, they have gone the way of the small town buggy whip dealers. They just aren’t there anymore.”
In fact, showrunners Bryan Fuller and Michael Green have also fleshed out that Shadow and Laura had more long term relationship woes than what we learned in the book to make his situation a little more sympathetic.
A visual change was in order for the God Technical Boy as he was originally more of a teenage angst filled Matrix worshipping guy and clearly, technology and how it is perceived these days has changed:
“Technical Boy, everything he says is still absolutely spot on. Only even more so, but he’s no longer a fat kid with spots and big black trench coat smoking hand-rolled synthetic toad skin.”
Again, it is really more visual since he’ll be saying the same things but visually things will get changed up. The CEOs of successful startups have built business empires:
“Now, he’s vaping and it’s that kind of thing where these days the Technical Boys are that unpleasant gentleman from Uber filmed getting out of his Uber with his two women explaining to the guy who went bankrupt trying to Uber that it was his own fault for not being a hard enough worker. Or you know Mark Zuckerberg going straight over into explaining why it’s not his fault that they put up fake news or that Facebook live thing of the guy getting murdered. It’s ‘hey gee whiz, isn’t augmented reality going to be fantastic?’ These are our technical boys now. And they’re still saying the same stuff they just look a bit prettier on the outside and they have a bigger limo.”
For stories which he didn’t include in ‘American Gods’ we did learn that Gaiman at one point wanted to add a piece about the “Japanese internment during World War II” which likely would have included a Japanese God which had immigrated to the United States:
“It wasn’t even that it got cut. It just never got written because I was already at 200,000 words and I was being told by my publisher that the novel couldn’t be more than 150,000 words. So now I was already cutting, and the internment story was one I was looking forward to.”
This could, in fact, be a story included in the television show as could some of the cut pieces:
“Oddly enough, I was having dinner two nights ago with Bryan and he was talking about the ‘Coming to America’ stories and we did one long one as an experiment. Originally we’d just done them like five, eight minutes long. And then Essie Tregowan’s story in episode seven and it intercuts with what’s going on now and it’s half the episode. And it’s great.”
With new work being done by Gaiman specifically for the show, the author seems excited to see it part of the series:
“So Bryan is now going we could do more of these big ones and I went, well I wanted to do the internment camp one and that would have been a big story. That would have been a 20-30 page short story. And possibly a little longer, it would have been a novelette in my head. And it would have been a kitsune story and I’m happy to write that story now and I’m happy for Bryan to adapt it.”
There is a slew of stories that he has, specifically about immigration, which he feels is a timely fit for the ‘American Gods’ television series. We get the fantasy along with a bit of social commentary, and this sounds like something that will be well worth watching.
Are you looking forward to ‘American Gods’? Do you think that we’ll be seeing more original short stories coming to the small screen as the seasons continue to roll out? Share your thoughts below!
The ‘American Gods’ Will Wage War On Starz On April 30th, 2017 at 9 pm ET/PT!
Stuart Conover is an author, blogger, and all around geek. When not busy being a father and husband he tries to spend as much time as possible immersed in comic books, science fiction, and horror! Would you like to know more? Follow him on Twitter!