I read Neil Gaiman's American Gods right around the time they announced a TV show was in the works, and I hesitate to say this because I know the book is well-liked, but I thought it was a little slow and didn't do quite as much with its intriguing premise as I hoped it would. But that beautiful first trailer has me convinced to give the show a shot and hopeful that the action will play out much better in live action than it did on the page. With showrunner Bryan Fuller behind it, I'm confident it will be a great series.
We haven't heard much about the show since that trailer debuted at Comic-Con, but now Nerdist has heard that a certain character is going to have a much larger role in the show than he did in the book. Turn back now if you don't want to know what may happen.
The site's sources claim that Mad Sweeney, a leprechaun played by The Wire and Orange is the New Black actor Pablo Schreiber, is the one with the expanded role. In Gaiman's book, Sweeney disappears for a long stretch of time before he reunites with the lead character, Shadow. When he meets Shadow for the second time, Sweeney is in a bad place — if I remember correctly, by that point he's essentially a homeless man wandering the Earth. Here's what Nerdist says about the character's bigger role:
That could mean a few things. Mad Sweeney’s magic coin plays a key part Shadow Moon’s story, and we may get to see Sweeney’s search for his beloved coin. Or perhaps we’ll even get to see excerpts from his 4,000 year history—including his journey to America. There is also the possibility that Mad Sweeney will be used as a way to establish origin stories for the gods who came to America, even though he isn’t technically a god himself.
When I heard Schreiber was cast as Mad Sweeney, my first thought was that it was a mistake and he was miscast. But if this report is true and the show really is going to concentrate more on him than the book does, then Fuller must be confident in the actor's performance. We'll see how this all shakes out when American Gods premieres on Starz sometime next year.