American Gods Mr Wednesday Shadow Moon Ricky Whittle Ian McShane Neil Gaiman

‘American Gods’ Debuts Tonight: Mr. Wednesday Has Arrived

Mr. Wednesday has arrived, and so has an exclusive clip for the highly-anticipated American Gods.

American Gods, the Starz series based on the bestselling novel of the same name by Neil Gaiman, is set to debut tonight, Sunday, April 30. But fans have been picking their jaws up from the floor after the new trailer showed the eerie encounter between Mr. Wednesday and the protagonist Shadow Moon, according to Nerdist.

Stopping short of being too intense, American Gods isn’t afraid of going full-on weird and mysterious at times. As seen in the new trailer for the Starz show, Shadow (Ricky Whittle) meets Mr. Wednesday (Ian McShane), and their encounter generates more questions than it gives answers.

Who is this Mr. Wednesday and how come he can so masterfully go from being a rascally old goat to a wise preacher-philosopher in just a matter of seconds?

American Gods, which was written by an immigrant, focuses on the battle between America’s Old Gods and New Gods, who feed on technology and mass media.

And Mr. Wednesday is there to rally the Old Gods for a massive battle between American Gods, and he needs Shadow’s help to achieve success. Shadow, who seems like the perfect choice to be convincing the Old Gods to fight against the New Gods due to his cold-bloodedness after serving time in prison and being released only to discover that his wife has died, is courted by Mr. Wednesday to help save the nation made up of different immigrant experiences.

American Gods comes at a very opportune time – when Europe faces an immigrant crisis, and the U.S. media focuses much of its discussion on immigrants following the election of Donald Trump as U.S. President – and the Starz series has brought back the main thesis of the book: Nobody’s American.

When Shadow asks Mr. Wednesday if he’s American early on in the 2001 book, the latter says the four words that resonated with readers and left an indelible mark on them.

“Nobody’s American. Not originally.”

American Gods is centered on a large-scale battle between legendary religious figures, New Gods and Old Gods, who seem doomed to disappear from the collective consciousness and be replaced by New Gods.

But Mr. Wednesday asks Shadow to help him win the battle against the tech- and media-eating New Gods through sacrifice and belief, two outstanding themes of the story.

Mr. Wednesday, a con-man with one glass eye, originally asks Shadow to be his bodyguard as he’s traveling cross-country rallying the Old Gods to fight the New Gods. But Shadow turns out to have a much greater role in the massive battle than to simply bodyguard his mysterious employer.

While the first season of American Gods, which premieres tonight, Sunday, April 30, will be comprised of only eight episodes, showrunner Bryan Fuller has previously indicated that he wants the TV adaptation of the bestselling novel by Gaiman to last three or four years, according to Nerdist.

Immigration is not the only pressing issue tackled on American Gods, as race also becomes a prominent factor in the brand new Starz show. While readers of the 2001 book are aware that Shadow is not black, his race had remained unknown up until Gaiman himself said Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson would be the perfect Shadow.

Mr. Wednesday is likely to steal the spotlight on American Gods, as his appealing mix of philosophy and snark cannot but entertain viewers. In addition to Shadow and Mr. Wednesday, American Gods will feature such iconic characters as six-foot tall leprechaun Mad Sweeney, Czernobog and the Zoryas, Mr. Nancy, Mr. Jacquel and Ibis, Easter, and many others.

[Featured Image by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images]