Starz's American Gods has finally arrived. Sunday's series premiere brought the adaptation of Neil Gaiman's novel to vivid life with all the stylized and dreamy touches such a story needs. The messaging at the core of the tale is the Old Gods vs. the New Gods. The old is fading, being overwritten by the nearly universal investment of humans in modern luxuries such as media and tech. In the book, the New Gods are the villains. But behind-the-scenes, the sort of technology associated with the New Gods is used in tandem with more practical techniques to make the magic happen.
During the premiere, American Gods showrunners Bryan Fuller and Michael Green and co-producer Loretta Ramos took to Twitter to share a look at the making of the inaugural episode (which, if you weren't aware, had some WTF moments). Let's take a peek behind the scenes.
We'll start at the beginning with a look at the building of the boat featured in the opening scenes. We learned how the Vikings brought Odin over to America with them.
Flipping over to Shadow and his haunting dreams in the Bone Orchard with the buffalo, Fuller shared some concept art. Shadow's dreamscape is more than bizarre; it's heavy with weight and foreshadowing.
How about the charming Mr. Wednesday? The casting of Ian McShane in the role was an excellent decision, and Green shared some of McShane's wardrobe feedback:
Important note about Wednesday's car:
We'll pause for a stop at Jack's Crocodile Bar. This is where Wednesday and Shadow cemented their agreement and ran into the unlucky Mad Sweeney. Please note the "gater balls" on the menu.
The premiere introduced Bilquis (and hey, we have a primer on inspiration for her right this way) and in the book, her home is described as being the color of raw liver. It's the sort of description that practically brings the color to life, and they carefully considered which shade would be just right:
Let's move on and take a look at Bruce Langley's Technical Boy. He's the first of the New Gods introduced in the series, and he's no one to be trifled with--though you probably got that from Shadow Moon's sound beating. The danger of the New Gods an important point to absorb as you watch Shadow and Wednesday pursue their goals. Anyway. Technical Boy. Fuller shared these digital models and look development for the Godflesh:
A design of his terrifying face-grabber:
A behind the scenes looks at Langley:
And here are some sketches for Technical Boy's lackeys, The Children:
With costumes designed by Suttirat Larlarb, they're very reminiscent of the Droogs in A Clockwork Orange.
Shadow got thrashed shortly after his encounter with Technical Boy in the pouring "rain."
One last thing that's a spoiler if you haven't read the book. (That's your cue to stop reading this article if you don't want spoilers.) Fuller shared some art of Shadow throwing the coin from Mad Sweeney down into Laura's grave. It sure looks like something interesting is happening as it goes under the surface, huh?
What did you think of the American Gods premiere? Share your thoughts with me in the comments.
Orlando Jones teases American Gods episode 2: