Why We’re Excited By the New American Gods Trailer

The new official trailer is out for American Gods. And it looks great.

I find it hard to believe that you haven’t heard of American Gods but, just in case you haven’t, it’s a fantasy novel by the endlessly excellent Neil Gaiman. The story follows the often confused Shadow Moon as he plays his part in a war between Old Gods and New. It’s been adapted into a TV show, due out in April, and they’ve just released a trailer that has got us dying to see the show.

You can see the trailer and the reasons why we’re excited by it, below.

Ian McShane as Mr Wednesday

I don’t need to add much to this, but Ian McShane was an inspired choice for Mr Wednesday. Dark, intelligent, sly but uncompromising, he could be the perfect actor for the part. Mr Wednesday should be able to seduce the audience into wanting to believe him even if it goes against their better judgement, and I’m confident McShane has the skills to pull this off.

Also, us Brits get to giggle because he used to be Lovejoy.

The aesthetics look perfect

American Gods is a work of magic realism, and that’s a tricky look to pull off on screen. The show should combine the real with the fantastic seamlessly, so we can believe the two coexist side by side. It’s clear from the trailer that the visuals will be able to bring to life both the majesty and magic of the Gods as well as the grittiness of the world they inhabit.

The story

It’s hard to tell from the trailer, but it looks like they have stuck pretty much to the core story. I hope that’s the case as the main narrative of American Gods is compelling, and I’m not sure some of the side plots from the book would work on screen. Part of me found some of Gaiman’s digressions a little too oblique and overlong in the novel. And, if that’s the case, they certainly wouldn’t fit into a ten episode series. So I’d be happy if the show sticks more to the main thrust of the narrative.

Shadow looks lost

Shadow Moon does less than most protagonists to keep the story going. Things just seem to happen to him that keep the plot moving. Throughout the trailer he appears to be trying to figure out what is going on, which was pretty much his default setting in the book too. The success of the everyman character is essential to works of fantasy, and it looks like they might have pulled it off in American Gods.

Are they doing away with one of the surprises in the novel?

There was a big (and clever) character reveal towards the end of the novel. I don’t want to spoil it here but it looks like they make it clear in the trailer who is behind the rise of the New Gods. This suggests that they are doing away with a cunning plot twist from the novel. This is also backed up with the cast list. If so, I can understand why they are doing it, but it’s still a shame.

We’re really looking forward to the first episode. We’d love to chat with you about your thoughts about the American Gods trailer and show either on Twitter, Facebook, G+ or in the comments section below.

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