Benedict Cumberbatch Cast As Satan In Amazon's 'Good Omens', Premiere Date Revealed [TCA 2019]

Amazon presented a panel on their upcoming series Good Omens on the last day of the Television Critics Association winter press tour, where they announced the show's official premiere date. Author and showrunner Neil Gaiman was on the panel with stars Michael Sheen and David Tennant and executive producer and director Douglas Mackinnon, where they revealed that Doctor Strange star Benedict Cumberbatch will play Satan in the series opposite Frances McDormand as God. Here are four things we learned about Amazon's Good Omens.

Benedict Cumberbatch is Satan

Good Omens follows the misadventures of an angel and a demon played by Sheen and Tennant who must join forces to try to save the world. Frances McDormand will play God, so Gaiman and Mackinnon built up to their dramatic announcement."In episode 6 there is the appearance of Satan," Gaiman said. "Frances McDormand is playing God in this. We suddenly realize we have Satan turning up in episode 6 so we needed somebody who could give Frances McDormand a run for her money."But the character won't look like Benedict Cumberbatch. "It's a giant animated Satan," Mackinnon said.Gaiman continued, "It's 400 foot high. He turns up and we actually needed a performance that would work. We found a young British actor, Benedict Cumberbatch. It is the glorious young Benedict Cumberbatch is our Satan."Cumberbatch did voice and performance capture for Smaug in the Hobbit movies, so he's already been halfway to Satan as it is. After the panel, Gaiman confirmed that Cumberbatch recorded his voiceover in a studio, but animators filmed him to incorporate his performance into the animation. It will sound like Cumberbatch's voice.

Episode 3 Has The Longest Cold Open In TV History

David Tennant warned viewers that episode three had an especially long cold open before the title sequence even comes on. There's nothing wrong with your TV set in episode three of Good Omens."There's definitely been a few times we played episode 3 to people who hadn't seen it before and we'd get up to the point where you're half an hour into the episode and the opening titles happen. They're like, 'Did it just end? What's going on?'" Gaiman said.The cold open is usually a tease of a few minutes to make sure viewers stay through the opening credits and first commercial break. By episode three of a streaming show, folks will probably already be hooked, and the idea of making the cold open longer than a standard half hour of television seems like the sort of wink that makes Good Omens so Neil Gaiman.

A Mix Of New Styles Creates A New One, Or None At All

Gaiman himself is a visual influence for many artists, both with his visual art and the art he creates with words. To bring his words to the screen, Mackinnon drew on many other artists, resulting in an homage that adds up to nothing."The visual influences are many," Mackinnon said. "The more obvious ones are Monty Python. There are homages to Doctor Who, Terry Gilliam. Good Omens has got its own style. The tone is it has no tone. We want to make it look epic and glorious and wonderful and warm."Gaiman added, "Our opening title sequence manages to somehow evoke both Terry Gilliam, Edward Gorey and Hieronymus Bosch. Somehow do that while being an animated 90 second opening sequence. Part of the weirdest thing about Good Omens is its style is no style. It's whatever we needed to make that scene or sequence work, we do. Because the book includes so many things and does so many different kinds of things, we felt we were allowed to do that."For the creators of the show to claim no style and no tone is being a little cheeky. Clips from Good Omens look colorful, heightened, and stylized, with plenty of CGI and green screen backdrops.

Set The Date

Finally, Gaiman gave the room the news everybody has been waiting for."We now have a date," Gaiman said. "It's going to be May the 31st. All six episodes will be dropping on Prime Video on May the 31st."So there you have it. Good Omens premieres on Amazon Prime Video on May 31, 2019.