Seeing as though Oscar-winner Nicolas Cage (Ghost Rider) has appeared in 20 films in the past 5 years, it's hard to believe that he has ever turned down a role, but he has.
In a recent interview, the former A-lister revealed that he was offered the coveted role of Mr. Wednesday, a crafty and endlessly charismatic con man, in STARZ's American Gods — a television adaptation of Neil Gaiman's 2001 novel of the same name. The role eventually went to Deadwood star, Ian McShane.
Cage revealed the American Gods offer when the interviewer pointed out that the 52-year-old actor hasn't tackled any television roles yet. "You know, it's a good point and I've been invited many times to go on a show, one of which was on Neil Gaiman's American Gods to play Mr. Wednesday, which was a great part, beautifully written," Cage told the L.A. Times. "And I said no. And William Friedkin, we've been talking about doing different things.
"It probably would be good for me globally as a career move to do television, and never say never — I probably will one day. But the idea of being stuck in one city for months on end playing a part — while that might be interesting, I could see where I might start to feel trapped.
"I'm just still a little bit of a snob. I mean, I'm holding on. Again, I'm never going to say never but I'm, like, kicking and screaming that I just want to stay in movies."
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, Kristin Chenoweth as Easter, and Cloris Leachman as Zorya Vechernyaya.
American Gods will premiere on Starz in 2017.