American Gods spoilers follow.
American Gods season 4 might be all we want to talk about now, but there was a time when the conversation surrounding the show centred on the behind-the-scenes controversy, rather than the show itself.
Jesse Alexander was brought in as showrunner following Bryan Fuller and Michael Green's joint exit ahead of season two. The pair had reportedly walked away due to a clash with Starz. But Alexander, too, later departed.
Then Orlando Jones, who played Mr. Nancy/Anansi, the Ghanaian trickster god, was dropped after season two, a decision which prompted Jones to publicly criticise showrunner Charles Eglee.
He shared a video on social media in which he alleged his firing was racially motivated.
"[Eglee] is Connecticut-born, Yale-educated, so he's very smart," he said. "And he thinks that Mr Nancy's angry, get shit done is the wrong message for Black America. That's right, this white man sits in that decision-making chair and I'm sure he has many Black BFFs who are his advisers and made it clear to him that if they did not get rid of that angry God Mr Nancy, he'd start a Denmark Vesey uprising in this country. I mean what else could it be?"
— Orlando Jones (@TheOrlandoJones) December 14, 2019
A representative for Eglee said that Jones was "wrong on multiple counts" (via Entertainment Weekly), and a spokesperson for American Gods also refuted the claim: "The storylines of American Gods have continually shifted and evolved to reflect the complex mythology of the source material.
"Mr Jones' option was not picked up because Mr Nancy, among other characters, is not featured in the portion of the book we are focusing on within season three".
Neil Gaiman, who wrote the novel of the same name on which the show is based and is also an executive producer, told Digital Spy that there was "a lot of confusion" about how the season three cast was going to look, adding: "I think it probably could have been handled much better, and that's including communicating with the cast over what was happening in this season, and what's going to be happening in season four.
"I'll put it this way: there are a lot of actors who seem to think that they've been fired because they weren't in season three, and you're sort of going, 'You're not in this season because stuff is happening in the season that you're not in. That doesn't mean you're not coming back. There's an awful lot of stuff that doesn't mean'.
"It's just like the book. You actually meet a whole bunch of new characters, and there's a new plot that then winds up at the end, tying into the old plot."
The series had also suffered from declining ratings, so much so that it wouldn't have come as a surprise to anyone if it had been cancelled
But the fantasy drama was renewed for a third season and was much improved, we should add, which is no guarantee of renewal, but it certainly doesn't hurt.
So, what does the future hold? Will Gaiman's world be brought back to life for another batch of episodes?
Here's everything you need to know about American Gods season four.
American Gods season 4 cast: Who's in it?
There's currently no official news on season four.
"I'm wondering how long they can draw out the book," Ian McShane (Mr Wednesday) told TVLine. "Will it end with season three, or will there be a season four, before Shadow takes wing on his own?"
Both Gaiman and Ricky Whittle (Shadow Moon) have also suggested that the show has a life beyond the latest chapter, but which characters will play a role?
One name who was missing from season three was Media, played by Gillian Anderson in season one, with Kahyun Kim joining the fold in the second chapter as New Media.
Could we see that character return in future episodes?
"I think we want to bring Media back, but we're trying to figure out what Media is," Gaiman told Digital Spy.
"When I wrote the book, even when we were making season one, it felt like Media was monolithic; that you could go, 'Ah, over here is the media, and look, it is represented by a Lucille Ball/Lucy Ricardo character, who is also somehow a newsreader, who is also every icon of media'.
"By season two, everybody was going, 'We don't think that's what Media is right now.' We had a fabulous idea of, 'OK, well, then, New Media.'
"Right now, I think that Media feels fragmented, which is one reason why we took a lot of that role, and divided it up amongst these sort of social media entities that you got to watch Ms World interacting with," he added.
"I think by season four, Media may well have settled down and become something else again, both more powerful and less powerful than it was in season one."
American Gods season 4 release date: When will it air?
Since it first aired back in 2017, all three seasons of American Gods have hit screens every other year, which means it wouldn't be remotely surprising if season four didn't arrive until 2023.
Yes, that is an incredibly long wait, but it also means they've got plenty of time to make sure that the story isn't too hot or too cold, but just right.
American Gods season 4 plot: What will happen?
Chatting to Collider, Whittle revealed that he has seen how season four plays out, adding: "We definitely know how all of the main threads, arcs, and characters are gonna come together for an epic ending.
"There are a lot more Easter eggs in season three alluding to what's going to happen in season four."
But it's too early for us to gaze into our crystal ball and make any predictions just yet as the show is airing weekly.
Check back here once season three has wrapped up for all of our questions and theories.
American Gods season 4 trailer: When can I watch it?
First up, we need the powers that be to give it the thumbs up.
Watch this space for updates.
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