A lot has changed since we last talked about the television adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s American Gods…
So way back in 2011, when news broke of Gaiman’s novel heading to TV screens everywhere, the story involved the need to write more books, six seasons worth of show, and you needing an HBO subscription. In the years to follow HBO brought in several writers to adapt the project, before eventually abandoning it in 2014. In 2015, Starz announced that they had now picked up the rights and would have the first season out sometime next year. In charge of things are co-showrunners Bryan Fuller (Hannibal) and Michael Green (Heroes).
The moment Rob Thomas announced the Veronica Mars movie Kickstarter, everyone with half a brain knew that it was going to meet its goal. I don’t know that there were many out there that would predict how quickly it would do so. As a matter of fact, the project, which was already the largest in the film category, was the fastest to reach two million dollars across all categories. So yay Veronica Mars movie!!!
Now I know I already bashed the entire show and concept of NBC’s Hannibal pretty badly last time, but it’d seem that things about it keep looking better and better the more I hear about it. The brilliant casting of Macklemore Mads Mikkelson as Dr. Lecter is great as I previously mentioned, but now the big news is about Gillian Anderson returning to TV after several years of being off the small screen. Gillian Anderson as you’ll no doubt remember, played FBI skeptic Agent Dana Scully on The X-Files. Now she’ll be coming back to TV for multiple episodes in the show, playing Dr. Lecter’s own therapist.
[quote] In a multi-episode arc on the upcoming NBC drama, Anderson is going to play Dr. Bedelia Du Maurier — murderous psychiatrist Dr. Hannibal Lecter’s (Mads Mikkelsen) own therapist.
“Every therapist needs their own head examined and we are ecstatic that Gillian Anderson has chosen Hannibal to mark her return to American television after 10 years to portray Dr. Lecter’s personal psychiatrist,” Fuller said in a statement. “Her intelligence and sophistication, not to mention her pedigree of ground-breaking TV, make her the perfect actress to match wits and psychological manipulations with one of the greatest villains of pop culture. I couldn’t be more excited.” [/quote]
Whoa whoa whoa, HOLD UP. That’s all find and dandy, yay X-Files whatever. The REAL news in that quote is the statement made by “Fuller” about the show. Which Fuller could that be? Well it’s Bryan Fuller, a name you may not recognize, but whose work you definitely will. He’s only the guy who made Dead Like Me, Pushing Daisies, the underrated Wonderfalls, and helped write the best parts of the first season of Heroes, aka the only good season actually worth watching.
His pedigree alone has me interested in the show, even though it’s so drastically different from all of this other work in tone. Needless to say, the cast and creative team behind this show are certainly looking to be a home run, so maybe it’ll actually be really good? All I can say is that it’ll probably get canceled. Just like all of Bryan Fuller’s other shows.
In other casting news, Canadian comedy fans might recognize another name – The Kids in the Hall star Scott Thompson. Thompson will play Jimmy Price, the third member of the FBI crime scene investigation team headed by Laurence Fishburne’s Jack Crawford, the head of the FBI’s behavioral science unit.
Because the world apparently demanded it, NBC has in production a pilot for a remake of The Munsters. Called Mockingbird Lane – the street where The Munsters live – it is being produced and written by Bryan Fuller(Pushing Daisies) and directed by Bryan Singer.
For anybody who doesn’t know what The Munsters is (I don’t want to be your friend): first shown 1964-1966 it was a sitcom about a family of monsters – Dad, Herman, was basically Frankenstein’s monster from the Universal movies, and Grandpa was Dracula – who lived a normal (as far as they were concerned) life on a quiet suburban street and couldn’t understand why everybody ran away screaming. The new series will be, to a certain extent, the same and the pilot will show them moving onto Mockingbird Lane.
The family has all been cast – and we have a couple of publicity shots to show you. Head of the household, Herman Munster, is to be played by Jerry O’Connell (Sliders, Stand By Me, Piranha 3D); Grandpa is to be played by Eddie Izzard – we have a photo of him here at a costume fitting; Portia De Rossi (Arrested Development) is Herman’s wife, Lily; Mason Cook (Spy Kids in 4D) is the son Eddie; and, finally, the non-monstrous niece Marilyn will be Charity Wakefield (The Raven) – here is a publicity still for her.
Other announced cast are Beth Grant (Wonderfalls and Pushing Daisies, both with Fuller) who will play Maryanne – the wheelchair bound next door neighbor who is suspicious of the Munsters – and Cheyenne Jackson (30 Rock) who will be guest starring as Scout Master Steve – Eddie’s charming, cheerful scout master who becomes smitten with Marilyn.
This all sounds very intriguing, but the words ‘edgy and dark’ are being used in conjunction with it all, which is worrying. Fuller has described it as a “dramatic departure from the tone style” of the original. He has said he wants the revival to be “an American Harry Potter. To have the sense of a magical world that you get to go to with your family and find stories told in a fantastical way that are instantly relatable. It’s a ‘American Horror Story’ that the whole family can watch.”
Eddie Izzard in prep to play Grandpa Munster.
I’m not sure how well The Munsters will work as a drama – even if it is a comedy drama – rather than a sitcom. Hopefully the two Bryans will manage to make something worth watching.