We’ve been getting teases for awhile about Starz’s production of American Gods, based on Neil Gaiman’s novel, but now seeing is finally believing. The series, premiering in 2017, is being helmed by Hannibal’s Bryan Fuller and Heroes’ Michael Green, and stars Ricky Whittle as Shadow Moon, alongside Ian McShane as Mr. Wednesday, and Pablo Schreiber as Mad Sweeney. The first two photos from the production also reveal one of the most iconic settings from the novel: Jack’s Crocodile Bar.
The story, for those unaware, tells the tale of a war between gods of the old world and new (the new gods representing things like drugs, celebrity, and technology). Schreiber, it’s worth noting, only just recently joined the cast, taking the place of Sean Harris who left for personal reasons. We also learned a few weeks ago that Gillian Anderson — who worked with Fuller on Hannibal — would also be joining the robust cast as the New God Media. Check out the first image below, which features Wednesday looking rueful as Shadow fights the drunk leprechaun Mad in that looks like a typically Fuller-esque candy-colored world:
EW spoke with Bryan Fuller about Jack’s Crocodile Bar and much more, with Fuller saying,
“It was one of the sets that we were the most excited about and an opportunity to do a tonal landgrab for what we are and what the style of the show will be. [Jack’s] is a kind of hillbilly chic aesthetic for Shadow’s entrée into the world of the gods.”
Fuller went on to explain Wednesday’s morbid humor, which makes him sound a lot like his Deadwood character Al Swearengen:
“I think the comedy and charm and ease of Wednesday’s appeal is very well-suited for Ian McShane. He has a vibrancy as Wednesday that could have gone so many different ways in other actors’ hands, but has such a specificity and reality, despite the situation at hand.”
He added, “Neil created this wonderfully stuffed toy box filled with all sorts of cultural points of view on how American operates as a system, and that was so fascinating and mythological in and of itself.” Green continued, “It’s really much more of an immigration story than it is a god story. One of the biggest challenges was stripping the idea of gods as X-Men or giant empowered creatures who stomp on cities and throw the oceans. We wanted them to be people with problems. It’s not about lightning bolts – it’s about the question of day-to-day survival.”
As we reported recently, other (stellar) cast members include Emily Browning as Laura Moon, Yetide Badaki as Bilquis, the ancient goddess of love, Bruce Langleyas the new god Technical Boy, Crispin Glover as Mr. World, Jonathan Tucker as Low Key Lyesmith, Cloris Leachman as a guardian sister of the constellations named Zorya Vechernyaya, Peter Stormare as Slavic god of darkness Czernobog, Chris Obi as Egyptian god Anubis, and Mousa Kraish as The Jinn, a mythic fire creature. “The producers have teased that liberties will be taken with the source material, and that some of these minor characters — especially Laura — will get larger parts.”
American Gods is set to air on Starz in 2017.