Hamm will play the angel Gabriel — aka God’s primary messenger — in the series, a role that is slight in Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett’s fantasy novel but which has been fleshed out for the six-part television show.
In a statement, Gaiman explained the change:
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 30 years later, I started writing Good Omens for TV, one thing I knew was that our angels would have to be in there.
Hamm’s Gabriel is the leader of these angels, Gaiman goes on to explain, adding that the character is the antithesis of the novel’s Aziraphale (played by Master of Sex‘s Michael Sheen). “He’s tall, good-looking, charismatic and impeccable dressed,” Gaiman adds. “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.”
Good Omens takes place in 2018 when the Apocalypse is near and Final Judgment is set to descend upon humanity. The armies of Good and Evil are amassing, Atlantis is rising, and tempers are flaring. Everything appears to be going according to Divine Plan. However, Aziraphale, a somewhat fussy angel, and Crowley, a fast-living demon (Doctor Who‘s David Tennant) — 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 war.
Hamm won an Emmy for playing Mad Men‘s Don Draper, a role he held for the run of the AMC drama. His other TV credits include 30 Rock, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Childrens Hospital, and A Young Doctor’s Notebook & Other Stories.
In a statement, Hamm said, “I read Good Omens almost 20 years ago. 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.”
Good Omens is in production and is slated for release in 2019.