Good Omens: Neil Gaiman Aware Series Will Offend Its Share Of People
Amazon is preparing to deliver its six-episode adaptation of Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman’s Good Omens novel, and Gaiman is sure the series’ depictions of angels, demons, and other religious characters will create a stir, but he’s ready for that. In addition to Gaiman serving as showrunner, the series has already assembled an impressive cast that includes Michael Sheen, David Tennant, Jon Hamm, Nick Offerman, Adrian Arjona, Mireille Enos, and more, making it one of the most anticipated offerings Amazon has in the offing.
Production on the series began in 2017 with a planned release set for sometime in 2019, but as fans wait for the long-awaited adaptation of the novel, Gaiman is already offering details, both about what viewers can expect and his own experience bringing his and the late Pratchett’s work to life. No stranger to seeing his work adapted to film and television, with the likes of Coraline, American Gods, Stardust, and How to Talk to Girls at Parties on the list, Good Omens takes things a bit further, with the acclaimed author undertaking the task of adapting himself (and Pratchett), and winnowing down a novel into six hours of television.
In a recent interview with EW, Gaiman discussed the making of Good Omens, the unique tone of the show, and what it was like writing the series without Pratchett around. As is often the case with films or television shows that involve depictions of figures from various religions — like American Gods’ many versions of Jesus — Gaiman is expecting some in the audience to take offense, particularly with the show’s representation of Adam and Eve. Gaiman said:
“I think we were talking about casting Adam and Eve. Because in the very, very opening scene, we have Adam and Eve, and they’re black because we’re in Africa and we’re in the Garden of Eden, and of course Adam and Eve would be black. And that was one of those places where it’s like, if people are going to find this offensive, great. Let’s know that, and let’s own it.”
Gaiman also elaborated on what makes the story of an angel and a demon (Sheen and Tennant) teaming up to prevent the apocalypse so special and where it ultimately draws most of its humor from. As the author puts it, the show’s unique sensibilities are a result of extraordinary beings caught up in banal situations and vice versa, and that the series is about “having to deal with a delirious reality of heightened, absolute madness.” That description will likely get fans of the novel excited for what’s to come next year, but, given the talent involved, it’ll likely get those unfamiliar with the source material plenty excited, too.
Good Omens is expected to stream on Amazon Prime Video in 2019.