Amazon Studios announced today that Jon Hamm will join the television adaptation of Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett’s novel Good Omens as the Archangel Gabriel, the primary messenger of God. For those who remember Gabriel as but a minor figure in the book, Gaiman added some interesting intel: The role has been expanded, pulling plot points from the Good Omens sequel that never saw the light of day.
While Good Omens was published in 1990, the Amazon Studios/BBC adaptation is set in 2018, with the Apocalypse very much nigh and the Final Judgment poised to descend upon humanity. The armies of Good and Evil are amassing, Atlantis is rising, frogs are falling, tempers are flaring. Everything appears to be going according to Divine Plan. Except a somewhat fussy angel and a fast-living demon—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 Rapture.
A Rapture that, it turns out, will have lots and lots of angels. Gaiman explained in a press release:
Once we had finished writing Good Omens, back in the dawn of prehistory, Terry Pratchett and I started plotting a sequel. There would have been a lot of angels in the sequel. When Good Omens was first published and was snapped up for the first time by Hollywood, Terry and I took joy in introducing our angels into the plot of a movie that was never made. So when, almost thirty years later, I started writing Good Omens for TV, one thing I knew was that our angels would have to be in there.
The leader of these angels is Gabriel. He is everything that Aziraphale isn’t: he’s tall, good-looking, charismatic and impeccably dressed. We were fortunate that Jon Hamm was available, given that he is already all of these things without even having to act. We were even more fortunate that he’s a fan of the books and a remarkable actor.
“I read Good Omens almost 20 years ago,” Hamm said in a statement. “I thought it was one of the funniest, coolest books I’d ever read. It was also, obviously, unfilmable. Two months ago, Neil sent me the scripts, and I knew I had to be in it.”
Production on Good Omens is underway. The six-part series is set to premiere in 2019 on Amazon Prime Video before being aired via BBC Two.