When it comes to any adaptation, the thing that fans are the most excited for is who will play the lead. Sure, it’s beyond awesome that it’s Hannibal’s Bryan Fuller who is adapting the work and acting as co-showrunner with Michael Green for Neil Gaiman’s beloved American Gods, and that the show will air on Starz so it has — one imagines — full creative freedom. But the most important question remains: who will play Shadow Moon?
Wait no longer: Starz announced today that English actor Ricky Whittle (who plays fan-favorite Lincoln from the CW’s The 100) will star as the “mysterious and taciturn” character in the lead role, who becomes a begrudging road trip buddy and protector for Mr. Wednesday, as they travel across the country, realizing that a war between these ancient god and modern technology is at hand. Neil Gaiman said of the casting,
“I’m thrilled that Ricky has been cast as Shadow. His auditions were remarkable. The process of taking a world out of the pages of a book, and putting it onto the screen has begun. American Gods is, at its heart, a book about immigrants, and it seems perfectly appropriate that Shadow will, like so much else, be Coming to America. I’m delighted Ricky will get to embody Shadow. Now the fun starts.”
With Fuller and Green adding,
“We searched every continent and country and all the islands in between for our Shadow Moon, and we are lucky to have found Ricky. Fans of the novel will find he has every bit of the heart of the character they fell in love with.”
Fans of the novel should also be pleased that the series decided to cast a man of color in the role, which Fuller spoke to in an interview with Den of Geek over a year ago, saying:
“In our conversations about who our ideals are for specific roles, Shadow is described as… is he a gypsy? Is he Hispanic? Is he black? Or is he all of those things in one? So we know that he is not white! I think if we cast a white man to play Shadow we would be the biggest assholes on television.”
You are definitely not an asshole, Bryan Fuller.
Read up on more of our recent American Gods news below. The series is set to air on Starz in 2017.
- ‘American Gods’: Bryan Fuller and Loretta Ramos on Book Changes, ‘Fight Club’ Influence, More
- Bryan Fuller’s ‘American Gods’ Series Will Be Superhero-Style Shared Universe
- David Slade Joins ‘American Gods’ as Director and Executive Producer