‘American Gods’: Why Neil Gaiman Was ‘Deeply Concerned’ First Time He Watched Starz Series

“I think he was worried we were happy with it,” Michael Green tells TheWrap about showing author very first cut of pilot

neil gaiman american gods

“American Gods” has traveled a long journey from book to screen, not without its bumps.

The adaptation was first set up at HBO, and when that option ran out years into development, it ended up at Starz and in the hands of Bryan Fuller and Michael Green, self-professed super-fans of the Neil Gaiman novel.

As it turned out, the first time Gaiman saw an episode of the adaptation of his beloved book, he feared the worst.

“There were many cuts … the first time he [Gaiman] saw the first cut of the first episode, he was deeply concerned,” Michael Green told TheWrap. “It was part of the process. We were not happy with it either.

“I think he was worried we were happy with it, when really, we were in the very, very early days of putting the thing together,” Green continued. “It’s funny, he told us a story of how he was watching it, holding his head in his hands and a friend was watching that cut with him and said, ‘well, maybe the show just isn’t for you.’”

The showrunners laugh at the story now because, of course, more edits to the cuts were made, and the series took its final form.

“I do believe that at this point, after we’ve all worked on it to get it to our own satisfaction, it is finally a show for Neil Gaiman,” Green concluded.

The author was even invited to write a script for an episode of the show’s first season, but could not make the schedule work.

“He intended to this season, but then he had a baby instead, and decided to be physically and emotionally there for that,” Green quipped. “Should there be subsequent seasons, we’re going to hold him to it.”

“American Gods” premieres Sunday at 9 p.m. ET on Starz.