Bryan Fuller on the biggest mistake he could make with the American Gods series

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Sep 30, 2014, 10:35 AM EDT (Updated)

We've still got a while to wait before American Gods finally hits TV, but co-showrunner Bryan Fuller has already learned what not to do.

After years of false starts, network changes and waiting, we found out in July that Neil Gaiman's beloved, award-winning novel about gods from all over the world carrying on their lives in modern America is finally heading to TV via Starz, under the leadership of executive producers Fuller and Michael Green (Smallville). We won't see the series until sometime in 2016, but Fuller and Green are already hard at work on scripts for the early episodes. In a new interview with Den of Geek, Fuller said they've broken the stories for the first three episodes, and though they're not casting the series yet, he already knows one thing the show absolutely can't do when the time comes: whitewash the novel's enigmatic, ex-con-turned-employee-of-a-god protagonist, Shadow.

"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 a--holes on television," Fuller said. 

Diversity in media is an important issue for a lot of people, and it's encouraging to hear that Fuller -- who's added diversity to his series Hannibal by changing the races and even the genders of various Thomas Harris characters -- seems determined to keep Shadow a person of color. He's also not backing away from the novel's more graphic moments, as he noted when discussing the scene in which a goddess, um, devours a man during sex. 

"We plan to deliver that moment as it is written, because I believe that we can, and that’s very exciting for us because we were breaking that story and thinking, we are just going to lift that right out of the book and drop it right into the show," Fuller said. "That came up in the Starz meeting, they were like, ‘how are you going to do that moment?’ and we said, ‘we’re going to do it exactly as written’."

So, if you were worried this American Gods adaptation would stray from the book too much, it seems for the moment that you can put those concerns to rest. For more from Fuller on the series -- including keeping the story going beyond one season, using multiple points of view and more -- head over to Den of Geek

(Via Den of Geek)

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