It’s been a busy few weeks for American Gods – the small screen adaption of Neil Gaiman’s massively popular fantasy novel. After much speculation, the main roles have finally been cast, and it looks like a clear premiere date is in sight.
But first, let’s go back a little bit. A year and a half ago, Starz announced that they were the company who were going to adapt the novel. Helming the project were Bryan Fuller (famous for his role with quirky comedies like Dead Like Me (2003) and Pushing Daisies (2007), as well as Hannibal (2013) and Michael Green, known for his background as an executive producer on Gotham (2014), and infamous for his role as (part) writer of the disastrous Green Lantern (2011). Since the announcement of Fuller and Green as showrunners, Bryan Fuller has also been declared the showrunner for the as of yet unnamed Star Trek series, and Michael Green has been tipped as the writer of Denis Villeneuve’s Blade Runner sequel, a re-make of Murder on the Orient Express, and Wolverine 3.
About two weeks ago came American Gods’ first casting news when it was announced that Ricky Whittle – currently appearing as Lincoln in The 100 (2014) and running back for the Manchester Titans – will be playing Shadow Moon, the protagonist of the show. Shadow, a former convict released on compassionate grounds due to the death of his wife, finds himself in the employ of the enigmatic and mysterious Mr Wednesday, the self-described ‘Greatest Con Man in America’ and the American incarnation of the Norse God Odin. Reaction has been positive to Whittle’s casting; Neil Gaiman himself said that he was “thrilled” with the casting, and described Whittle’s audition as ‘remarkable.’
The latest announcement came at the announcement of Ian McShane’s involvement. Known for his roles of Al Swearengen on Deadwood (2004) and King Silas Benjamin on Kings (2009), McShane has been cast as previously mentioned Mr Wednesday. This is not the first time McShane has worked on an adaptation of a Neil Gaiman novel. In 2009, he played Mr Bobinsky in Henry Selick’s Coraline.
A definitive release date for American Gods has not yet been announced. However, in 2015, Fuller estimated a late 2016 premiere.