The Cutting Room: Neil Gaiman talks “AMERICAN GODS”, Bryan Fuller’s Adaptation and Sequel NovelBooks/Art/Culture,Fearful Features,Features/Interviews,Movies/TV,News Ken W. Hanley
Welcome to THE CUTTING ROOM, a new weekly column on FANGORIA.com that highlights the stories that most share DNA of our print counterpart. Rather than just feature the features, articles and interviews that didn’t make the cut, this column is dedicated to providing a greater lifeline between FANGORIA Magazine and FANGORIA.com.
For one of the most popular and respected writers on the planet, it’s a true surprise that much of Neil Gaiman’s wicked and wild imagination has yet to find a place in television or film. However, that is about to change in a big way soon, as HANNIBAL series creator Bryan Fuller has taken the reigns in bringing one of Gaiman’s most popular stories, AMERICAN GODS, to the small screen.
With Starz serving as the series home, Fuller and Gaiman have the opportunity to bring the epic dark fantasy story to life, in all of its explicit, visceral glory. FANGORIA recently had a chance to chat with Gaiman about the series, and while the bulk of our interview will appear in FANGORIA #343, we are premiering the remainder here in THE CUTTING ROOM…
FANGORIA: 15 years ago, AMERICAN GODS would likely have never gotten adapted for television, even with a company like HBO, as there was no precedent. However, now with shows like GAME OF THRONES and OUTLANDER, television is really finding ways to have great character-driven drama in epic and fantastic universes. Do you think that 2015 is a fitting time to bring AMERICAN GODS to the small screen, as opposed to having had the chance to adapt it prior?
NEIL GAIMAN: It’s interesting because for years, people wanted to make AMERICAN GODS as a feature film. I used to get phone calls from directors whose names I knew and whose work I knew and was fond of. They’d tell me how they picked up AMERICAN GODS in an airport and loved it so they wanted to make it into a movie. But then there’d be a long pause and they’d go, “But there is one thing I need you to help me with: how would you do it?” And so I’d go, “Well, I don’t know. It’s much too long to be a movie and it’s much too weird.”
Once you’ve thrown out all the things that makes the book what it is, then you have a movie that’s not AMERICAN GODS. The glory of this series is that they’re keeping it as AMERICAN GODS and they’re just letting it grow and allowing the characters to change.
FANGORIA: Your work certainly strikes a chord with adult fantasy fans, and Bryan has certainly proven that television can be a place for exploratory adult content. Do you think television is a more appropriate place for AMERICAN GODS than feature adaptations, especially considering your sensibilities?
GAIMAN: Yeah. The wonderful thing about television is that the medium seems to embrace the quirky and the weird. Film is still somewhat weird about the weird, although having said that, something like CORALINE got made and found its audience. That movie got lots and lots and lots and lots of love, but I can certainly see a world where more and more stories will be developed for TV as that’s where the energy is and a lot of the times, that’s where the interest is.
FANGORIA: Bryan has also proven how fruitful patience can be in something like HANNIBAL. Do you think an element of patience is going to be important for something like AMERICAN GODS, considering there’s so many moving parts and storylines to follow?
GAIMAN: Yes! Patience is a necessity for AMERICAN GODS; it is vital.
FANGORIA: You have gone on the record saying that you were working on a sequel novel to AMERICAN GODS. Is that still the case and how has that come into play with Bryan’s adaptation?
GAIMAN: Yes, it is still the case and I have talked to Bryan about it. Some of the things I have suggested to Bryan as in what to do and not to do on certain things were to let him know what is happening [in the sequel]. But that is useful because if I get hit by a truck, someone else knows the story and where it’s going.
FANGORIA: Is there anything in particular that you’re interested in seeing come from the adaptation of AMERICAN GODS?
GAIMAN: I’m really looking forward to meeting the characters, and to find our Laura, our Wednesday and especially finding our Shadow. That’s what I’m most excited for more than anything else, but I’m also really looking forward to getting to write an episode. I think it’s going to be so much fun.
You can find more exclusive revelations about AMERICAN GODS from Neil Gaiman himself in the Bryan Fuller-edited FANGORIA #343, which you can buy HERE.