michael sheen and david tennant cast in good omens

The Apocalypse is looking pretty good right now.

Michael Sheen and David Tennant have been cast in the Amazon TV series Good Omens, the adaptation of Neil Gaiman‘s whimsical, and very British, apocalyptic comedy. It’s some inspired casting that bodes well for the adaptation of another Gaiman work, who is on a roll right now after American Gods. A good omen for the show, you might say.

Sheen and Tennant have been cast in the lead roles of the angel Aziraphale and the demon Crowley, respectively, according to Variety.

The pair’s longtime enmity has turned into begrudging friendship after centuries of coexisting, and when the two of them are faced with the impending Apocalypse, they set off to stop it. However, despite their foolproof plan to trick their respective bosses, they lose track of the Antichrist. And thus begins the apocalyptic comedy of errors.

The adaptation of Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett‘s 1990 novel is being produced by Amazon as a six-hour miniseries. The show is set in 2018 as the world is faced with the final judgment.

While Amazon didn’t comment on the casting, Sheen confirmed it, saying in a statement to Variety:

“I first read ‘Good Omens’ as a teenager and it’s been one of my favourite stories ever since. To be part of the team entrusted with bringing it alive on screen is a bit of a dream come true to be honest. To work alongside Neil, who I think is one of the greatest storytellers of all time, is incredibly exciting. And, just like the rest of the world, I’m a huge fan of David’s so I relish trying to save it with him.”

Good Omens is a hilarious and subversive take on the Apocalypse, with an uptight angel and sardonic demon leading the charge in a story about fate and humanity. It’s not all as serious as it sounds, taking an offbeat approach to a story that’s often been told in a grim, horrific fashion. It’s delightfully British as well, with eccentric characters populating the pages of the book, and likely the series too.

I’m pretty excited for this casting news, which is absolutely in line with how I imagined the characters when reading the book. Sheen as the “fussy” angel is a perfect fit, having played many pseudo-intellectual and straight-laced Brits over the years, while Tennant has been stretching his villainous muscles in roles like Kilgrave in Jessica Jones. But Crowley will likely be a riff off his charismatic rock-star-lite character in Fright Night, upping the sleaze and camp.

Good Omens was Gaiman’s first novel, written in collaboration with Pratchett, who died in 2015.  Terry Gilliam was once attached to direct a film adaptation of Good Omens, but that fell through. Gaiman will be involved in writing for the Good Omens miniseries, taking a creative role in the show like he has with Starz’s American Gods run by Bryan Fuller. Gaiman is starting to take over TV, with a Sandman series also waiting in the wings. The Fox show Lucifer is also inspired by the character in Gaiman’s Sandman series, who received his own comic book spin-off back in the day.

Good Omens is co-produced by BBC Studios with Narrativia, the production company of Pratchett’s daughter Rhianna, and the Blank Corporation. The series is in association with BBC Worldwide for Amazon Prime Video and the BBC.

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