Though production is currently underway on Bryan Fuller’s American Gods series, there have already been two significant shake-ups behind the scenes. One involves actor Sean Harris, who had been set to play Mad Sweeney, “a down on his luck leprechaun, who is having a hard time understanding how he lost his charm and way,” since late March. A new report, however, has Harris exiting the project for personal reasons in order to return home.
According to Deadline, Harris did work for one week of production before plans changed. The scenes that he filmed will be reshot once a new actor is cast, suggesting that Sweeney is to have a relatively important role in the adaptation. A statement from Freemantle Media North America clarified the change and also confirmed another big switch in the series’ production plans:
“Sean Harris had to leave the American Gods production for personal reasons. He is a very talented actor and we are sad to see him go, but we wish him well. We are currently recasting the role of Mad Sweeney.
Separately, we are thrilled to welcome Jo Willems as our DP. Jo and David Slade have had a long-standing creative partnership and have collaborated on various projects. The chemistry between a director and his DP are vital and when Jo became available to join David on American Gods, we jumped at the opportunity to have him on the team.”
It was reported that the production was already falling behind schedule just two weeks in, so that combined with the apparent out-of-sync collaboration between director David Slade and director of photogaphy Brendan Glavin led to a changing of the guard. Jo Willems was the DP on the last three Hunger Games films as well as Slade’s independent Sundance film Hard Candy and his horror movie 30 Days of Night. That shorthand should go a long way toward getting the series back on track.
The good news for fans of Neil Gaiman’s novel is that Fuller has been providing a fair share of behind-the-scenes shots from the production. If you’d rather not be spoiled by anything, feel free to stop reading now. Otherwise, enjoy the little Easter eggs and character nods revealed by Fuller on his Twitter account:
— Bryan Fuller (@BryanFuller) April 27, 2016
— Bryan Fuller (@BryanFuller) May 1, 2016
— Bryan Fuller (@BryanFuller) May 6, 2016