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Good Omens - BBC co-producing Pratchett/Gaiman adaptation

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http://discworld.com/narrativia-announce-first-major-television-co-production-bbc-studios-neil-gaimans-blank-corporation/

 

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Narrativia are delighted to announce their first major television Co-Production with BBC Studios and Neil Gaiman’s Blank Corporation.

The series will be broadcast in 2018 by Amazon Prime Video and the BBC.

 

BAFTA-winning producers and Narrativia Directors Rob Wilkins and Rod Brown are to Executive Produce the project.

Rob Wilkins said, ‘Development began back in 2011 when Terry was still very much part of the process and we are thoroughly delighted that Neil has written six absolutely brilliant episodes that bring their novel to life. Terry would be thrilled.’

 

Rod Brown added ‘Narrativia was founded in 2012 by Sir Terry himself, with a mission statement to seek out co-production partners and broadcasters who not only had the vision to ‘get’ Terry’s (and in this case Neil’s) tone of writing and storytelling, but also to have the financial ability to present his work with no compromise of scale or talent and at the highest possible quality, whatever medium we were working in. This TV production announcement, especially as it is one of a number of exciting projects we have in the pipeline, delivers on Terry’s vision, as did our other recent announcement of our partnership with The Jim Henson Company on the Wee Free Men film project to be written by multi award-winning Rhianna Pratchett’. We know that Good Omens, with its wonderful script written by the legendary Neil Gaiman, and the talent we are working with at Amazon and the BBC will be one the must-see shows of 2018!

 

About Narrativia

Narrativia is an Independent Production Company, launched in 2012 by Sir Terry Pratchett. The company owns and controls the exclusive multimedia and merchandising rights to all of Sir Terry’s works, including his Discworld characters and creations.

With more than 85 million books sold in 38 languages worldwide, Pratchett’s writing has created a literary phenomenon across the globe and Narrativia protects and unites the management and development of this brand.

 

 

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News expected on this in the next few days, which Gaiman has hinted will reveal the cast.

 

They have to nail this. They cannot fuck up a single character.

 

And if anyone but the expected characters, or the Horsemen, are portrayed as American, I'm flipping a table. If Crowley or Aziraphale are I'll be considering boycotting it.

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Aziraphale is specifically described as English (and perceived to be gay). And a lot of his character is based around that particular type of almost shut in well to do middle class Englishman trope.

 

Crowley is mostly just described as being 'cool' in various ways, but given his back story it fits better for him to be British imo, having been there for hundreds of years. Also he's allegedly based on Gaiman. There's always a push to make him American that doesn't work for me. The centre of the book is inherently British and should stay that way.

 

Conversely the the wider cast works well as American. The Horsemen, bar one, are basically written as American through the eyes of late 80s Brits.

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Some casting news. Sheen and Tennant!

 

http://tvline.com/2017/08/14/michael-sheen-good-omens-cast-amazon/

 

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Masters of Sex‘s Michael Sheen and Doctor Who‘s David Tennant are headed to Amazon.

 

The actors are set to star in Good Omens, a six-part comedy for the streamer based on the acclaimed fantasy novel Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch by Neil Gaiman (American Gods) and Terry Pratchett (Colour of Magic).

 

Good Omens takes place in 2018 when the Apocalypse is near and Final Judgment is set to descend upon humanity. The armies of Good and Evil are amassing, Atlantis is rising, and tempers are flaring. Everything appears to be going according to Divine Plan. However, Aziraphale (played by Sheen), a somewhat fussy angel, and Crowley, a fast-living demon (played by Tennant) — both of whom have lived amongst Earth’s mortals since The Beginning and have grown rather fond of the lifestyle — are not actually looking forward to the coming war.

 

“I first read Good Omens as a teenager and it’s been one of my favourite stories ever since,” Sheen enthuses. “To be part of the team entrusted with bringing it alive on screen is a bit of a dream come true to be honest. To work alongside Neil, who I think is one of the greatest storytellers of all time, is incredibly exciting. And, just like the rest of the world, I’m a huge fan of David’s so I relish trying to save it with him.”

 

Gaiman will serve as showrunner on the limited series, which is being produced in conjunction with the BBC.

 

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Almost exactly a month after Gaiman teased it...

I'm happy with that casting. Very happy. Wouldn't have thought of Sheen but he can certainly do it, he can do well to do Englishman in his sleep and hopefully will nail that slight hint of being gay the character has. And I think Tennant has been in the Crowley conversation for years.

 

Now they have the nail the rest. The Them is going to be a nightmare to cast well. There's other characters that are difficult, Shadwell is such a weird and strongly characterised figure they'll struggle to get someone bang on for instance (for years I've thought Peter Mullan would be a decent shout, though in my head Shadwell looks more like Rade Serbdzija) and Anathema is one of those female characters where it's largely left to the reader who she is beyond her personality, but the Them... not only is it casting kids, it's casting kids who all need to be very good actors, and whoever plays Adam needs to be able to portray someone with a supernaturally strong will whilst also pointedly still being a child.

I'm happy for them to go American with the Horsemen, as said earlier most of the Horsemen are basically, imo, stereotypes of Americans viewed through the eyes of 80s Brits who've watched too many US TV shows and movies - Sable the amoral CEO, Scarlett the unnaturally beautiful face of the media and classic femme fatale, Chalky a drug addled hippy romantic straight out of the 60s, man. Theres an exception of course, but Azrael is a stereotype of his own.

A great start though.

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The wardrobe department appropriately dressing Crowley like Gaiman's 90s internal vision of himself. 

 

Not quite how he looks in my head but should work. 

 

Aziraphale looks a bit too... foppish (?) there for me. In my head he's basically the kind of person that always wears a 'nice' sensible cardigan or tank top and tweed. Pretty much a middle class well to do very mildly camp Roy from Corrie.

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Maybe it was the cover illustration of the edition of the book I read as a kid, but I always envisioned Crowley and Aziraphale as being classically handsome, given that he's an angel. I had it in my head that Aziraphale looked like Cary Elwes, or similar, rather than like the elder Bilbo Baggins in Lord of the Rings.

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My minds vision of Crowley has him look a bit like  Christian Bale perennially wearing an expensive well cut black suit.

 

And Aziraphale looks like a younger William Sadler crossed with Tim Robbins. Sorta.

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Some more cast was confirmed the other day.

 

Michael McKean is Shadwell. Miranda Richardson is Madame Tracy. Jack Whitehall as Newt. Adria Arjona as Anathema. Ned Dennehy and Ariyon Bakare as Hastur and Ligur.

 

I could see McKean being a very good Shadwell. Richardson is a really good choice (my dream cast for years had been Julia Deakin). Jack Whitehall is atrocious casting. No idea who Arjona is but a quick Google suggests she's not exactly what I'd have in mind but she could work, I'm she she'll be fine. And the guys for Hastur and Ligur look like they'll fit well enough for what should be pretty minor characters.

 

Whitehall though. That makes no sense to me. There's nothing about anything he has ever done that says he'd be a good Newt to me at all. I can imagine the take he'd have on the character though and it makes me concerned.

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I read this recently (after having it sat on my shelf since I was a kid!) in anticipation of the series and I'm very excited for this - Tennant, in particular, looks fantastic; he really is perfect casting for Crowley.

 

I've got to say, the book gave me definite Preacher vibes - wonder if the series will do the same?

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On 9/18/2017 at 16:02, Wroth said:

Aziraphale was always Gordon Ramsey to me.

 

386282.jpg

 

 

There's a definite Beckham resemblance too..

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I'd have like to have seen Michael Fassbender as Crowley and David Tennant as Aziraphale. It would have been interesting, although a bit 'BBC christmas adaptation' to have tried a version with Noel Fielding and Julian Barrat. Would maybe have been a bit obvious though.

 

Edited to add:

 

Jack Whitehall can fuck off.

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More casting

 

Anna Maxwell Martin is Beelzebub

Lourdes Fabreres is Pollution

Yusuf Gatewood is Famine

Mireille Enos is War

Daniel Mays as Mr Young

Sian Brooke as Mrs Young

Reece Shearsmith is Shakespeare (which presumably is going to be a cameo part)

 

And a bunch of unknown kids are the Them.

 

Can't say much for that casting really. Wouldn't have have gone with a woman for Beelzebub but I guess it's something different. I presume they're going to play with the idea that hell isn't immediately evil looking, and maybe play up some of the ideas the book hints at of hell being a bit of a backwards bureaucracy.

 

I can't say I know much about any of these. The guy playing Famine I could see fitting easily, not quite my mental image but has the right look, I don't see Pollution as a woman but again will work I think. I would have gone younger and with someone with 'sharper' features for War, just to match my mental vision of her, which is basically Famke Janssen as Xenia Onatopp.

 

The Youngs are fine, decent actors playing largely minor roles.

 

Shearsmith as Shakespeare is unexpected.

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On 04/11/2017 at 21:19, Don Wiskerando said:

I would have gone with David Mitchell as Shakespeare.

 

Glad they didn't, he is on my list of actors that piss me off for no apparent reason.

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