Not everyone knows the name Elastic, but theirs were the golden handshakes that introduced you to most of your favourite TV shows. From Game Of Thrones to The Night Manager, by way of Daredevil, Westworld, True Detective and The Crown, Elastic have an eye for creating opening sequences for shows that are captivating, enthralling and instantly iconic. When it came to introducing the world to American Gods, Starz’s adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s classic novel of mythology versus modernity, Brian fuller was never going to go with anyone else.
Breathtaking would be the word that best describes the feeling that these opening credits evoke. Not breathtaking in the way that a grand canyon is breathtaking, more in the way that a boa constrictor is breathtaking as it begins to slowly coil around your chest. It’s a heady mix of oppressively grand religious iconography, violently gaudy Americana and bleeding-edge technological consumerism. Menorah’s with power outlets, crucified astronauts, Buddha laughing in a shower of narcotics. It’s difficult to imagine a more striking way to capture the conflict at the heart of Gaiman’s opus.
Gaiman’s novel imagines a war waged under the noses of contemporary Americans, a war between the old gods of magic and mystery and the new gods of money, celebrity, drugs and tech. In this opener, Elastic pits statues of Ganesha against muscle cars and VR headsets, all bathed in a sea of neon light. It certainly gets the point across.
“Is it strange to want action figures from a main title sequence? Crucified astronauts, neon cowboys and S&M centaurs, we bow to Elastic and their spectacular vision. A totem of godly visions we didn’t know we needed to worship until they showed us the light with this clarion call to the American Gods,” said showrunners Brian Fuller and Michael Green.
The Opener ends with a totem pole comprised of more religious effigies and symbols of consumer culture. This is the America of American Gods; a landscape where Gods of stone and Gods of cheap plastic vie for the attentions of fickle worshippers.
Everything seems to be lining up for American Gods so far. Steered by Brian Fuller (Hannibal) and Michael Green (Logan) and with Hannibal Director David Slade helming multiple episodes, the show truly has some of Televisions best and brightest creative minds behind it. Add to that the jowly sexiness of Ian McShane as Mr. Wednesday and some truly extraordinary source material to work with. This striking opener is just yet more proof that the show is on the right track to deliver the Gods on April 30th 2017.