Starz has released (via EW) first look photos of Shadow Moon (Ricky Whittle), Mr. Wednesday (Ian McShane), and Mad Sweeney (Pablo Schreiber) from their upcoming television adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s 2011 acclaimed fantasy novel, American Gods.
The first photo features Shadow proving his worth to Mr. Wednesday by getting into a scrap with Sweeny, a leprechaun, Jack’s Crocodile Bar.
“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,” says exec producer Bryan Fuller told EW. “[Jack’s] is a kind of hillbilly chic aesthetic for Shadow’s entrée into the world of the gods.”
The second image features McShane's Mr. Wednesday observing the fight while sitting on a bar stool. Fuller thinks the former Deadwood star is perfect for the role.
“I think the comedy and charm and ease of Wednesday’s appeal is very well-suited for Ian McShane,” he said. “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.”
Check out both stills in our gallery at the bottom of the page.
American Gods has been translated into over 30 languages and earned numerous accolades including Hugo, Nebula and Bram Stoker Awards for Best Novel. The plot posits a war brewing between old and new gods: the traditional gods of mythological roots from around the world steadily losing believers to an upstart pantheon of gods reflecting society’s modern love of money, technology, media, celebrity and drugs. Its protagonist, Shadow Moon, is an ex-con who becomes bodyguard and traveling partner to Mr. Wednesday, a conman but in reality one of the older gods, on a cross-country mission to gather his forces in preparation to battle the new deities.
“American Gods” is produced by FremantleMedia North America. Bryan Fuller (“Hannibal,” “Pushing Daisies,” “Heroes”) and Michael Green (“The River,” “Kings,” “Heroes”) are writers and showrunners. David Slade (“Hannibal,” “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse”) is directing the pilot and additional episodes. FMNA’s Craig Cegielski and Stefanie Berk are executive producing the series along with Fuller, Green, Slade and Neil Gaiman.
The cast features Ricky Whittle as Shadow Moon, Ian McShane as Mr. Wednesday, Emily Browning as Laura Moon, Pablo Schreiber as Mad Sweeney, Yetide Badaki as Bilquis, Bruce Langley as Technical Boy, Crispin Glover as Mr. World, Jonathan Tucker as Low Key Lyesmith, Gillian Anderson as Media, Peter Stormare as Czernobog, Orlando Jones as Mr. Nancy, Demore Barnes as Mr. Ibis, and Cloris Leachman as Zorya Vechernyaya.
American Gods will premiere on Starz in 2017.