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Break out your coolest shades, dust off your mysterious books, and turn up the Best of Queen. It's the end of the world as we know it, and it's going to be a fun ride.
2016 was wild. With all the global upheaval and last-hour plot twists, it almost seemed like the end of the world really was coming “next Saturday, just before dinner.” But we still have some good things ahead: #NeilGaiman and Terry Pratchett's modern classic, Good Omens: The Nice And Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, which will finally see a small-screen adaptation, coming in 2018 to BBC Worldwide and Amazon Prime. Nice.
#TerryPratchett passed away in 2015 after a battle with Alzheimer's that cut his celebrated writing career short. Gaiman had some bittersweet words about the project and his dear friend not being around to witness it:
“Almost thirty years ago, Terry Pratchett and I wrote the funniest novel we could about the end of the world, populated with angels and demons, not to mention an eleven-year old Antichrist, witchfinders and the four horsepeople of the Apocalypse. It became many people’s favourite book. Three decades later, it’s going to make it to the screen. I can’t think of anyone we’d rather make it with than BBC Studios, and I just wish Sir Terry were alive to see it.”
- Neil Gaiman on the writing of Good Omens and upcoming show
We don't have many details about the cast or crew yet, but the essential facts alone give us two very good... signs here. Of course, this all came after the author teased us with a cryptic tweet:
First, Gaiman himself will be showrunner and hold creative control, a good indication that the show will be true to the beloved source material.
Second, the fact that it’s a series at all is a very good… sign here (side note: Wondering why I keep saying that? Read the book). Opting for a six episodes instead of a two-hour feature film was an ambitious but excellent decision. Squeezing the story into anything less would make it feel rushed and shallow; no matter how magical or wit-crackling a movie, #GoodOmens is a multilayered and intricate story, as well as hilarious. It needs room to breathe, spread its wings, and build to an Armageddon-defying finish.
A big, properly spectacular adaptation of the hit 1990 book has been a tantalizing possibility for years, but this is the first time we've seen anything confirmed. 2009 and 2011 saw some hints from both Gaiman and Pratchett about a #TV series but nothing substantial. And in some parallel universe, we might have had a feature film instead, with Robin Williams and Johnny Depp playing the lead angelic roles.
This isn't the only of Gaiman's works to be adapted for the small screen lately. A series based on novel #AmericanGods is coming to Starz later this year.
Gaiman's work has been consistently popular and critically acclaimed (such as graphic novel Sandman and Neverwhere), and some of his work has already crossed over from page to both big screen (such as Stardust and Coraline) and small (such as the BBC miniseries adaptation of Neverwhere). But, however beloved the Gaiman-Pratchett collaboration remains, a Good Omens adaptation never quite got off the ground. Until now.
Earth has been through a lot lately. Life’s felt a little apocalyptic, a bit ineffable - so thank goodness for good news, right when we need it. Almost feels like a guardian angel, descending from heaven. (Or sauntering-vaguely-downward. It’ll be good to see him too.)
Thanks, you two.