Frances McDormant gets ethereal and Neil Gaiman talks to God in the run up to the ‘nice and accurate’ Apocalypse that is Good Omens.
When you’re a winner of the Oscar for best actress, it’s pretty much a given that you can expect to receive some pretty big roles. And after a heavenly performance in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri they don’t come much bigger than that of God. And so with Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman’s Good Omens going full steam ahead as a six-part limited series for BBC and Amazon, it is announced that Frances McDormand will be starring as the deity herself, alongside David Tennant’s demon Crowley, Michael Sheen’s angel Aziraphale, and Jon Hamm’s archangel Gabriel. And with memorable roles in such movies as Fargo and Burn After Reading as well as TV roles in State Of Grace and the lead role in the titular Olive Kitteridge all going toward helping her achieve the coveted Triple Crown of Acting, with two Academy Awards, two Primetime Emmy Awards, and a Tony, there is clearly none better for such a prestigious part. Talking to The Hollywood Reporter showrunner Neil Gaiman said “We knew God had to be a woman. We were talking about great American actresses because we knew we wanted it to be an American voice.”
Good Omens, more “nicely and accurately” called Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch, recounts the tale of the enmity that becomes friendship of the angel Aziraphale, who gives the impression that he is English, intelligent and gayer than a treeful of monkeys on nitrous oxide and the demon Crowley, who is also known as Crawly, the snake who tempted Eve and creator of the biggest car-park in the world (or the M25 motorway to you and me). On becoming concerned about the impending Apocalypse, due to growing quite attached to the world the way it is, the pair decide upon switching some babies to avoid said Apocalypse, placing the real Anti-Christ Adam with a nice family in Lower Tadfield, Oxfordshire and set up Warlock, the child everyone thinks is the true Anti-Christ as the son of a prominent American diplomat living in London. Following on from this is also some hi-jinks with the Four Horsemen of The Apocalypse, who take the form of Hell’s Angels from the biker group known as ‘Revelations’ or the Sixth Chapter and their friends Grievous Bodily Harm, Cruelty To Animals, Things Not Working Properly Even After You’ve Given Them A Good Thumping but secretly No Alcohol Lager, and Really Cool People. Oh and the decision of Adam on how to end it all.
As far back as April 2016, Gaiman had already confirmed that as a result of a posthumous request from Pratchett he would write the script for the six-part adaptation for the shows production company, Narrativia which was established by Rhianna Pratchett, Terry’s daughter. And so it could truly be said the show has the seal of approval of both the novels creators. As co-writer of the original novel, there is also no better authority on who is best for the roles when his work is adapted so Gaiman can be relied on to choose the perfect cast. Casting also includes Anna Maxwell Martin (Philomena, Becoming Jane) onboard to play Beelzebub. With Mireille Enos (The Killing), Lourdes Faberes (Knightfall) and Yusuf Gatewood (The Originals) joining as three of the four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, War, Pollution, and Famine respectively the Apocalypse can now begin. BBC Studios is co-producing with Narrativia and Neil Gaiman’s The Blank Corporation, with distribution handled by BBC Worldwide. It is scheduled to be released in 2019, first on Amazon Prime and then the BBC. With Gaiman riding high on the success of past adaptations such as Stardust, Beowulf and more recently American Gods we can expect this to follow suit. Maybe we can even dare to dream that the much-anticipated sequel 668-The Neighbour of the Beast, though never completed, could also spring from the success of Good Omens?
Check out www.amazon.com (US) and www.amazon.co.uk (UK) for more and don’t miss out on this exciting new series from the two great minds that gave us Discworld, The Colour of Magic, Stardust and American Gods in 2019.
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