Looks like American Gods‘ Tech Boy has a plugged-in new buddy: The Starz series will add the role of New Media in the upcoming Season 2, TVLine has learned exclusively.
We hear the show is searching for a 20-something, Asian woman to play the series-regular part, which symbolizes the role of social media in modern American life the same way that Gillian Anderson’s Media represented television and pop culture in Season 1.
Though Starz had no comment, it appears that the series is moving to fill the gap left by Anderson’s departure from the series.
In January, Anderson told reporters at the Television Critics Association’s winter press tour that she would not shoot any more episodes of the fantasy drama, which chronicles a brewing war between the Old Gods (figures from mythology and ancient traditions) and the New Gods (representations of technology, media, etc.) Her announcement came roughly six weeks after co-showrunners Bryan Fuller and Michael Green left the show due to creative differences with producer Fremantle over the length and direction of Season 2.
Former Hannibal executive producer Jesse Alexander will serve as Season 2’s co-showrunner alongside author Neil Gaiman, whose 2001 novel provides the blueprint for the show.
We hear production on American Gods‘ sophomore season is slated to begin in May.
An interesting article regarding the future of American Gods & the upcoming 2nd season from the recent TCA press tour.
Starz chief Chris Albrecht wasn’t able to confirm exactly when we might see another season of “American Gods.” However, he did tell journalists at the Television Critics Association summer press tour that there’s no end in sight for the supernatural fantasy drama.
“We’re on board as long as the show makes sense for Starz,” he said of the series, which is based on the novel by Neil Gaiman and adapted by Bryan Fuller and Michael Green. “The vision of Neil Gaiman is the guiding light for all of us, and Bryan Fuller and Michael Green are the guiding lights of that.”
“Gods” has already been renewed for a second season, which is good news for fans, given that the first season didn’t even get through half of the story told in Gaiman’s original novel. But Albrecht wasn’t able to say when Season 2 might happen: “It’s a difficult show to make because there are a lot of people to wrangle.”
And he’s not exaggerating. The talented cast includes Ricky Whittle, Ian McShane, Emily Browning, Betty Gilpin, Pablo Schreiber, Cloris Leachman, Jonathan Tucker, Kristen Chenoweth, Gillian Anderson, and Orlando Jones, all of whom are performers with no shortage of other projects in the works.
Just a few examples: Anderson will soon be reprising the role of Dana Scully on “The X-Files,” McShane might find himself starring soon in a film version of “Deadwood” for HBO, and hopefully Gilpin will be at the center of a new season of Netflix’s excellent wrestling dramedy “Glow.”
Fuller also has a number of projects in development at various networks, while Green has become a massively in-demand feature screenwriter after writing the script for this year’s “Alien: Covenant,” “Blade Runner 2049,” and “Murder on the Orient Express.”
Albrecht said that Starz is “committed to getting the show on the air as soon as possible.” Don’t look for the next chapter in this story anytime soon, but hopefully viewers will find out what’s in store for Shadow Moon and Mr. Wednesday sometime before 2020.
“American Gods” Season 1 is available now through Starz.
THE PERFORMER | Gillian Anderson
THE SHOW | American Gods
THE EPISODE | “Come to Jesus“ (June 18)
THE PERFORMANCE | Is there anything that livens up an American Gods scene more than the captivating, off-kilter addition of Gillian Anderson’s Media? We think not, especially given the X-Files alum’s highly entertaining performance in Sunday’s Season 1 finale.
When Media showed up as Judy Garland in her Easter Parade attire, all doe-eyed and delicate, Anderson was the picture of turn-of-the-century femininity. And we marveled, in part because she so thoroughly wrapped the New God in this old-school persona and in part because Anderson-as-Media-as-Garland was Ziggy Stardust light years away from the guises we’d seen her adopt before.
Remember, for a moment, how the actress glided about Easter’s patio in the finale, dancing with Technical Boy’s faceless Fred Astaires. Juxtapose that with Anderson’s knowing, slick take on David Bowie in the back of the limo in Episode 5… or with her cooing sexpot take on Marily Monroe at the police station… or with her bawdy, black-and-white rendition of I Love Lucy‘s Lucille Ball at the beginning of the season. Anderson has a Tatiana Maslany-like ability to disappear within a character within a character. And after years in quiet, buttoned-down roles like The X-Files‘ Dana or Hannibal‘s Bedeila, it’s refreshingly fun to watch her cut loose a little.
In other words: You’ve come a long way, Scully.
HQ captures from Gillian’s guest appearance on the season finale of American Gods have now been added to the gallery, along with behind-the-scenes images (mostly posted by Gillian as a countdown & celebration of the finale.) Gallery links & previews are below, enjoy!
American Gods debuted not one but two brand new looks for everyone’s favorite second-screen experience: Media, the god of screens big and small, made two bold appearances in the series’ fifth episode.
First came Media’s take on David Bowie, a manifestation of Ziggy Stardust to confront the bratty Technical Boy about his wayward behavior against Shadow. Later, Media appeared once more as a bona fide Hollywood bombshell: Marilyn Monroe, who floated into the major meeting of the new gods and once again sent Shadow reeling. For Anderson, both characters were a blast.
“I didn’t know all that much about Marilyn as much as we all know what’s in the greater consciousness: the key pieces of her death and her struggle and her marriage and all that,” Anderson tells EW. “And actually, I was surprised at how easy I found it to immerse myself in that and how much fun it was. She was definitely the one I had the most fun doing, just because there’s an imminent joy to her. There is also with Judy [Garland], but there’s something so delightful and delicious about Marilyn that was a lot of fun to jump into. And there’s a mechanism that we used to get her floating — I was on this robotic contraption that had been built with fans in it so that my skirt was constantly moving, even though they were going to recreate and enhance some of that in CGI. So for the majority of that scene, it was me being driven around via remote control with fans blasting vertically up my dress.” Anderson laughs: “So, that was fun.”
While Marilyn tracks with what we’ve already seen of Media — her appearance as Lucy Ricardo sets the scene for a character based on Hollywood screen icons who have inspired god-sized worship — the appearance of Bowie is a testament to the expanded shape Media has taken in Bryan Fuller and Michael Green’s series. In Neil Gaiman’s novel, Media’s manifestations (which included Diane from Cheers) are encoded as female, but Media only takes the shape of what she deems the best vehicle to convey her message. The character has less loyalty to gender in the Starz series, which raises an interesting question of what power looks like when it doesn’t have to be applied to one human body.
The relevant extracts are posted below!
Starz has announced their For Your Consideration category slate for “American Gods,” bringing some order to a significantly stuffed ensemble.
The network confirmed what we’d already suspected: Gillian Anderson’s role as Media will officially be submitted in the Guest Actress in a drama category.
Jumping into the Supporting Actress fray this year would have meant going up against some other formidable first-year opponents. With Chrissy Metz and Thandie Newton getting their first shot at a nomination on extremely popular shows, Anderson might have a better shot in a more open field, her impeccable Lucille Ball and David Bowie impressions aside.
Anderson’s last nomination was for her leading role in 2006’s “Bleak House” adaptation, despite her work on “American Gods” showrunner Bryan Fuller’s previous TV effort, “Hannibal.”
The pay cabler has handed out a season two renewal to the fantasy series, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.
An episode count for the second season is not yet known.
Based on Neil Gaiman’s 2001 novel of the same name, American Gods centers on a war brewing between old and new gods: the traditional gods of biblical and mythological roots from around the world steadily losing believers to an upstart pantheon of gods reflecting society’s modern love of money, technology, media, celebrity and drugs. Its protagonist, Shadow Moon (The 100’s Ricky Whittle), is an ex-con who becomes bodyguard and traveling partner to Mr. Wednesday (Deadwood’s Ian McShane), a con-man but in reality one of the older gods, on a cross-country mission to gather his forces in preparation for a battle with the new deities.
Bryan Fuller (Hannibal) and Michael Green (Heroes) serve as co-showrunners on the series and executive produce with Gaiman, Adam Kane, director David Slade and FremantleMedia North America’s Craig Cegielski and Stefanie Berk. FremantleMedia North America produces the show.
“Bryan Fuller, Michael Green and Neil Gaiman have evolved the art form of television narratively, structurally and graphically with American Gods, and we’re thrilled to be working again with these artists as they continue to build the worlds and wars of the gods,” Starz programming president Carmi Zlotnik said Thursday in a statement.
The renewal comes just two episodes into the show’s freshman run. Starz notes that the series premiere drew nearly 1.6 million viewers with seven days of delayed viewing factored in.
“American Gods has been a ground-breaking series born out of belief and it’s thrilling to be partnered with Starz to continue this ambitious story. Neil Gaiman, Bryan Fuller and Michael Green have ignited a conversation through cinematic magic, presented through a diverse ensemble of actors that continue to keep us engaged and inspired,” said Cegielski.
In addition to prolific auspices in Fuller and Green, the drama’s large ensemble also includes Emmy winner Kristin Chenoweth, Gillian Anderson and Oscar winner Cloris Leachman.
Hope everyone had the chance to tune in to last night’s episode of American Gods! We were treated to two personas from Media this week: David Bowie & Marilyn Monroe, and Gillian pulled them off amazingly well. Gallery link & previews are below, enjoy!
– 1×05 – Lemon Scented You Captures
“Time and attention—better than lamb’s blood.” That’s the credo of digital goddess Media, a powerful deity manifested into reality thanks to America’s decades-long worship of television, celebrity, and the screen at large. (She may have even been summoned into the world back in the heyday of radio storytelling, but that’s another story.)
If you watched the second episode of American Gods, you just met Media—and fed her, too. The character made her debut in week two of the Starz series, played by Gillian Anderson, but the hitch is that Media is more of an abstract being who tends to take the form of iconic figures from the screen, so her first materialization (as written in Neil Gaiman’s 2001 novel) is also one of her most famous: Lucille Ball. Who better to represent the palpable worship of celebrity than the first legend of TV’s golden age?
Media, as Lucy, appears to protagonist Shadow (Ricky Whittle) in a seductive attempt to lure him to the cause of the new gods, who all share an eagerness to reprogram reality to better focus on the things that power them in the digital world. (Read EPs Bryan Fuller and Michael Green’s explanation of what that means here.) In the novel, Media shocks Shadow in his hotel room by taking over his TV; in Fuller and Green’s adaptation, she hijacks a whole display of them, revealing herself to Shadow in the electronics section of a big-box warehouse store that might as well be designated a temple for how it bears the tools Americans would use to worship her.
Speaking with EW, Anderson says she connected differently with all of the characters she would play in the role—including Judy Garland, David Bowie, and Marilyn Monroe—but it was Lucy with whom the actress shared at least some semblance of a history.
“The only experience I really had in any personal way with any of Media’s characters was a photo shoot I did with Mark Seliger many eons ago where I was Lucille Ball,” Anderson says, referring to a 1997 magazine spread in which she vamped up as several television icons. (In fact, some Gods fans even mistook the portraits as an official first look at Media back when Anderson’s casting was announced last summer.)
“Funny enough, I actually looked more like Lucille Ball back then than I do now, just in terms of the angularness of my face,” Anderson continues. “So I had that experience of being her for a day, but it was, of course, different from trying to figure out what aspect of her to present in ratio with what aspect of Media, and who is Media, and how does Media come through, and which bit of Media lives in each of these characters?”
To that end, the challenge Anderson faced in waxing Ball, Bowie, Garland, and Monroe was not just finding footing inside these recognizable celebrities, but figuring out who the actual goddess of Media is in the moments between her manifestations onscreen. “I think that was the biggest challenge with all of them, and I guess it changed as per how easy it was to take on a character or feel like I could channel someone. [That] had some impact on how much Media showed up within that character,” she says, adding that she made a key early decision to avoid thinking too hard about what the abstract Media might look like—if anything at all—in between her big moments. “I kind of stayed away a bit from thinking about that,” she laughs. “That’s still a very, very big question mark, even in my head.”
HD captures from Gillian’s debut appearance on American Gods as Media last week have now been added to the gallery; link & previews are below, enjoy!
– 1×02 – The Secret of Spoon Captures