American Gods Episode Gets SxSW Premiere, Talks Changes From The Books


The first episode of American Gods was screened yesterday at SxSW. Afterwards, the producers discussed how Trump’s America forced changes.

Two major shows, based on award winning novels, debut next month that were conceived, written and filmed all before the major unexpected shift in American politics occurred back in November. The election of Trump, and the sudden semi-hysterical atmosphere about the direction of the country may force many to rethink projects, but when to came to The Handmaid’s Tale and American Gods, the question was–how to edit in the new political climate?

For Atwood, the answer seems to have been “lean in.” And at SxSW, the viral marketing campaign, of having people in the iconic Handmaid’s costumes wandering around Austin only deepens the creepy “actually it could happen here” ambiance. But for the American Gods crew, the answer seems to have been heavy editing of some of the book’s subplot points.

The first episode of the series, which debuts on STARZ on April 30th, was screened for the audience yesterday. The reviews seem mostly positive (though reviewers who do not know the books all seem slightly befuddled in their positivity). But the really interesting part came in the Q&A post screening.

Asked about changed from page to screen, Bryan Fuller spoke on how Trump’s immigration policies required them to rethink that part of the book, and emphasize it. According to The Hollywood Reporter:

"“We as Americans are under a radical political climate that tends to lean cruel as opposed to compassionate. So we are excited to tell compassionate immigration stories, not only as a statement, but as part of the ongoing narrative of the series.”"

Fuller also acknowledged that Gaiman’s original novel was a bit of a “sausage fest”, ie heavy on the male character bonding. They sought to fix this imbalance, expanding the roles of Bilquis and Audrey.

"“We’re very excited to expand on several of the female characters,” Fuller said. “The book tends to be a sausage party.”"

Next: New Folio Edition Of Neil Gaiman’s American Gods

American Gods premieres April 30th, on STARZ.