One of the most anticipated new series of 2017 is without a doubt Bryan Fuller’s American Gods. Based on Neil Gaiman’s award-winning fantasy novel of the same name, the series is set to come to life early next year on Starz.
American Gods follows the story of an ex-con named Shadow Moon (The 100’s Ricky Whittle) who finds a job as the bodyguard to the mysterious Mr. Wednesday (Ian McShane). Shadow finds himself in the middle of a war between the old gods and the new, the old gods being those from the various ancient myths who have immigrated to America and can no longer get by in modern America, and the new ones reflecting today’s society’s love of money, media, technology (including the wonderful world of the Internet), drugs and more.
One of those old gods happens to be Vulcan, the Roman god of fire, volcanoes and metal work, who will be portrayed by Corbin Bernsen (Psych, L.A. Law), and we have our first look at the character thanks to the good folks at Entertainment Weekly. Unlike the other old gods, Vulcan (who is a brand-new creation for the TV show) is having zero problems finding his footing in the modern world because he has reinvented himself as the god of guns.
“Vulcan’s the god of the volcano and the forge, and what is the modern-day extrapolation of what that god could do?” muses co-showrunner Bryan Fuller. “We started talking about America’s obsession with guns and gun control and, really, if you’re holding a gun in your hand, it’s a mini volcano, and perhaps, through this character, there’s a conversation to be had.”
Co-showrunner Michael Green had some more interesting things to say about Vulcan’s place in the storyline, how he came to be and what that could possibly mean in regard to the character’s relationship with Mr. Wednesday:
“He’s a brand-new addition who came from an experience Neil had. He was going through a small town in Alabama where he saw a statue of Vulcan. It was a steel town and, as he told the story, there was a factory that had a series of accidents where people were killed on the job and they kept happening because an actuarial had done the numbers and realized that it was cheaper to pay out the damages to the families of people who lost people, rather than to shut down the factory long enough to repair, and that occurred to him as modern a definition of sacrifice as there might be.
What’s interesting about a god like Vulcan who has bound himself to guns is it’s an evolution of what he was to what he could be, and that’s finding a new place in a world that didn’t have a place for old gods,” says Green. “That comes with a series of compromises but also a series of benefits for him. To say that maybe you can find a new place in this country, that it doesn’t always have to be so hard, makes him an interesting person as someone with a long history with Mr. Wednesday.”
American Gods also stars Emily Browning, Yetide Badaki, Dane Cook, Bruce Langley, Cloris Leachman, Pablo Schreiber, Peter Stormare, Orlando Jones, Crispin Glover, Demore Barnes, Jeremy Davies and Gillian Anderson. The show is slated to premiere on Starz in April 2017.