The Starz series adaptation of Neil Gaiman‘s beloved and bizarre mythological fantasy epic American Gods is casting up, and they’ve just added a killer actor in a crucial role. Deadwood and Ray Donovan star Ian McShane has signed on in the role of Mr. Wesnesday the crafty con man who sets the series’ events into action when he recruits the ex-con Shadow Moon on a mysterious mission. I’m trying to say this without spoilers (though there are spoilers in the creator’s comments below, so proceed with caution), but let’s just say Mr. Wednesday needs to be able to vacillate between weasely and wise, and there is perhaps no one better than the always wonderful Mr. McShane for the part.
This is just the latest bit of good news regarding the series adaptation, which recruited the fearlessly cinematic and visually innovative Bryan Fuller to showrun alongside Michael Green, as well as regular Hannibal director David Slade as director and executive producer.
McShane, who will also be playing a mystery role in this season of Game of Thrones, is the second official member of the cast, joining The 100 standout Ricky Whittle, who recently signed on as Shadow Moon. The official press release describes Mr. Wednesday as ” a crafty and endlessly charismatic con man, full of perverse wisdom, curious magic, and grand plans. He hires ex-con Shadow Moon to be his bodyguard as he journeys across America, using his charms to recruit others like him as he prepares for the ultimate battle for power.”
Gaiman shared his excitement at the casting,
“When you write a beloved character (beloved with, or despite, or because of all his faults) like Mr. Wednesday, you get to watch the internet trying to cast the role. I’ve seen a hundred names suggested, but few make me grin like Ian McShane does. I’ve already been lucky enough to have him in one film (he was bright blue in it, animated, and probably Polish). Now I count myself even luckier: he’s made the journey from ‘Lovejoy’ to ‘American Gods.’ Yesterday was Super Tuesday. Today is Wonderful Wednesday.”
Showrunners Bryan Fuller and Michael Green commented,
“Actor. Icon. And now god. It is a goddamn delight to be collaborating with the incomparable Ian McShane — again and for the first time — on a story about faith and belief, with the utmost faith and belief in Mr. McShane as our Mr. Wednesday. A wonderful Wednesday indeed.”