After the premiere of American Gods in 2017, the fantasy drama on Starz was renewed for a second season. Since then, things have been rocky in terms of production, with little to no information surfacing about the content or release date in which the beloved series would return. With shocking news arising regarding showrunners and cast changes, the American Gods community was in a whirlwind, curious about the fate of the season leading up to New York Comic-Con (NYCC) earlier this month.
Instead of wading through the storm of information unfolding around the series – from changes in production and cast, to the American Gods panel at NYCC, and even interviews with author, Neil Gaiman – here’s a brief overview of everything you need to know regarding the adaptation’s new season, which is set to air in 2019.
In recent months, the television series’ production team has gone through a few noticeable changes. Creative differences with series producer, FreemantleMedia lead to the departure of season one showrunners, Bryan Fuller and Michael Green. Close friendships led to cast departures as well – most notably Kristin Chenoweth (who portrayed the Goddess Easter and had a big impact at the end of season one), along with Gillian Anderson (who portrayed the ever-changing Goddess, Media, who makes notable appearances throughout the show as Lucy Ricardo, Marylin Monroe and David Bowie).
American Gods stayed on its feet, however, making it through the production of season two through the creative collaboration of Neil Gaiman and showrunner, Jesse Alexander, who has since been removed from the series.
Despite the storm brewing in the media regarding production, Gaiman is happy with the progression of the series, according to a recent interview with Deadline.
It is very dark. It is brutal. It is beautiful. Season 2 goes even deeper, even more deeply, even more painfully into the heart of America right now, what it means to be American right now.
Bold and brutal, the series will continue to delve into the heart of America, while further exploring character backstory. In the first season, a few episodes were dedicated to Laura Moon’s depression and her broken relationship with her husband, and the main character of the novel, Shadow. Gaiman revealed that relationships will be a big part of this season – Shadow and Laura, Laura and Mad Sweeney – even Wednesday and his peculiar relationships with everyone involved, humans, old gods and new gods included.
During the recent panel at NYCC, moderated by Patton Oswalt, Neil Gaiman and the cast sat down to chat and answer questions about the progression of season two, which is set to begin just a few short hours after last season’s finale, in which Shadow learns who Wednesday truly is. In terms of character conflict, Gaiman hinted that the story will be getting much darker, with characters experiencing ups and downs along the way.
In addition to discussing the challenges of getting into character, it was exceptionally clear during the panel that the cast, which included Ricky Whittle, Emily Browning, Orlando Jones, Yetide Badaki, Pablo Schreiber, Bruce Langley, Omid Abtahi, Mousa Kraish, Crispin Glover and Demore Barnes, truly are invested in their characters. Not only is this obvious from the show itself, but Gaiman revealed that even amongst the scripting and production challenges, the cast “made sure that the integrity of their characters was never compromised.”
In addition to tremendous character development and side stories featuring relationships and brand-new time periods, this season will take us to new heights, starting with the arrival at the House on the Rock. During the panel, it was revealed that the Wisconsin attraction was closed down for filming for several days and that a few of the cast members, including Ricky Whittle, were permitted to ride on the largest carousel in the world (an event that was supposed to close the first season of the show).
While this season won’t quite get us to Lakeside, Gaiman revealed that we will make it to Cairo, Illinois, and a funeral home, in addition to following Laura and Mad Sweeney around on their own grand adventure.
Meanwhile, a few new characters have been announced — Mr. World’s sidekick Mr.Town (Dean Winters) will be making an appearance, as will Sam Black Crow (Devery Jacobs), a hitchhiking college student that Shadow encounters on his journey to Lakeside. Meanwhile, Gaiman and showrunner, Jesse Alexander have re-imagined Media for the new season in Kahyun Kim as “a goddess of global content — and in this age, a cyberspace chameleon, who is also a master of manipulation.”
Alongside all of the new information surfacing, a trailer for the upcoming season, which is set to premiere some time next year, was revealed, making it incredibly clear that season two will be just as striking as its predecessor.
If you’re like us and you can’t wait for the new season to air, however, there’s a new book for you. Set to unveil behind-the-scenes photos, production art and interviews with the cast, Inside American Gods hits shelves on October 30.