‘Good Omens’: Why Neil Gaiman is Expanding the Role of Jon Hamm’s Character, Gabriel

Jon Hamm has joined the upcoming Neil Gaiman series Good Omens as Gabriel, a character who was barely in the book but will have an expanded role in the adaptation.

Gaiman, who wrote the 1990 book with Terry Pratchett, told The Hollywood Reporter that he always intended to make additional angel characters a big part of a Good Omens adaptation going back to when it was being discussed as a possible movie in the 1990s. In fact, the angels idea was going to be a focus of a potential Good Omens book sequel that never happened.

“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,” Gaiman told The Hollywood Reporter. “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.”

Jon Hamm at the 2015 Emmys

Jon Hamm at the 2015 Emmys. | Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Naturally, this meant that Gaiman had to show us more of Gabriel, the archangel who is God’s messenger and leader of the other angel characters. Gaiman told The Hollywood Reporter that Gabriel is tall, good-looking, charismatic and well dressed, and so Jon Hamm was the perfect choice, especially since he’s already a fan of the book.

Gabriel is mentioned in the original Good Omens book, but he really isn’t a character. With the Amazon series, this character will be expanded. It remains to be seen exactly how much screen time Gabriel will get, but it’s presumably a good amount considering they’ve bothered to cast someone like Jon Hamm for the part.

Good Omens is currently being produced as a six-episode miniseries that will premiere on Amazon in 2019. Michael Sheen will be playing Aziraphale, an angel and representative of heaven, while David Tenant will be playing Crowley, a devil and representative of hell. As the Apocalypse approaches, both Aziraphale and Crowley attempt to prevent the end times, as they have grown comfortable living on Earth among the humans. They attempt to keep tabs on the Antichrist but wind up accidentally monitoring a normal 11-year-old boy as the real Antichrist begins to learn about his powers.

David Tennant in 2016

David Tennant in 2016. | Robin Marchant/Getty Images

This comes after another Gaiman book was adapted on screen: American Gods, which aired its first season on Starz in 2017. But Gaiman is only an executive producer on that series and the showrunners are Bryan Fuller and Michael Green. With Good Omens, Gaiman will actually be serving as showrunner. Good Omens will premiere on Amazon in 2019 and also air in the U.K. on BBC Two.