Ken Liu’s Short Fiction Comes to Animated Life in the Pantheon Trailer

“We were human. We are gods now.” An ominous pronouncement, no? There are a lot of those in the trailer for Pantheon, the AMC+ series based on the short fiction of Ken Liu (The Grace of Kings). The hour-long animated drama about uploaded human consciousness got a two-season order right off the bat, so AMC clearly feels pretty good about it.

Pantheon stars Katie Chang as Maddie, “a bullied teen who receives mysterious help from someone online” according to AMC’s description, which continues:

The stranger is soon revealed to be her recently deceased father, David (Daniel Dae Kim), whose consciousness has been uploaded to the Cloud following an experimental destructive brain scan. David is the first of a new kind of being: an “Uploaded Intelligence” or “UI,” but he will not be the last, as a global conspiracy unfolds that threatens to trigger a new kind of world war.

There are a lot of big questions here, like whether we can be human if we don’t have bodies, and big ideas about time and consciousness and whatnot. This trailer feels like it’s holding a lot back, and the dialogue is full of cliches about not knowing what people are capable of, and having to choose a side, but it’s also just a lot to take in at once. What’s real? What’s in the cloud? Does it make a difference?

Pantheon comes from showrunner Craig Silverstein, who was a writer and producer for NikitaTerra Nova, and Bones. It also features the voices of Paul Dano, Maude Apatow, William Hurt, Aaron Eckhart, Ron Livingston, and many more. You can get a little more sense of the series in the clip released a few weeks ago:

Pantheon‘s two-episode premiere is September 1st on AMC+.


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