Bryan Fuller is a hardworking fellow, with Hannibal one of the best shows on television and finally adapting Neil Gaiman’s American Gods for TV, and he can now add not being “the biggest asshole” to his CV.
Speaking to Den Of Geek, Fuller addressed the casting of American Gods‘ lead character: Shadow. The character’s ethnicity is never explicitly given in the book but one thing is for sure: he’s not white. Fuller explains that he and co-creator Michael Green are not about to whitewash the lead character of Gaiman’s masterpiece.
“In our conversations about who our ideals are for specific roles, Shadow is described as… is he a gypsy? Is he Hispanic? Is he black? Or is he all of those things in one? So we know that he is not white! I think if we cast a white man to play Shadow we would be the biggest assholes on television.”
On a similarly awesome note, Fuller emphasised that there will be a strong female presence in the series, as the character of Shadow’s ghostly wife Laura will be beefed up considerably. “One of the things that’s important for anybody adapting source material that is primarily a male buddy picture is to find ways to latch on to strong female characters in the piece and bring them to the forefront and celebrate their point of view alongside the men, otherwise it becomes a sausage party and it’s a singular point of view,” he explained.
“One of the fun things about the television series we’re crafting is that for every moment that takes place, there are alternate points of view of that moment so we will see an episode that is primarily from Shadow’s point of view, and then the next episode will be primarily from Wednesday’s point of view, and then the next episode will be primarily from Laura’s point of view so there’s a fun to point of view when you’re adapting a novel like this, because it gives you the freedom to expand the world and the characters.”
This chimes with Fuller’s decision to expand the female presence in Hannibal, changing the genders of Alan Bloom and Freddie Lounds from the novels to allow for excellent performances from Caroline Dhavernas and Lara Jean Chorostecki.
Just in case you were in any doubt about Gaiman’s brilliant novel being adapted to TV, the presence of Fuller continues to be a reminder of just how amazing this could be. It’s great to hear that he’ll be taking the book and running with it, just as he did with the Hannibal books. This can’t come soon enough.
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