Starz Adaptation Of Neil Gaiman’s ‘American Gods’ Casts Ian McShane

The Starz adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s best selling novel, American Gods, has filled one of the story’s most crucial roles. Ian McShane has been cast in the role of Mr. Wednesday, a con artist, who joins Shadow Moon (Ricky Whittle) in a quest across the United States.

American Gods proves Ian McShane has a way with Neil Gaiman’s characters

It's Wednesday! #AmericanGods casting perfection. https://twitter.com/variety/status/705158944075882496

A photo posted by Cat Mihos (@catmihos) on

This won’t be the first time Ian McShane has taken on a Neil Gaiman project. He previously brought the Deadwood villain, Al Swearengen, to life, making the character uniquely iconic. Now, it’s assumed Ian will do the same thing for Mr. Wednesday.

American Gods tells the tale of a war between the old gods and the new gods in present-day America with Mr. Wednesday, A.K.A. the Norse god Odin, leading the fight for the old ones. Ian McShane’s character has enlisted Shadow Moon to help him, having hired him as added muscle.

In the matter of casting for American Gods‘ Mr. Wednesday, Gaiman said it was a great joy to see the internet try to predict who would be asked to take on the role. The American Gods writer said it was inspiring to see so many people take an interest in a character he created with love and dedication to detail.

“Actor. Icon. And now god,” remarked American Gods showrunner, Bryan Fuller. “It is a… 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.”

Bryan Fuller reveals major story arc for Season 1 of American Gods

NEXT: American Gods. ????????〽 #neilgaiman #nuevaadquisicion #americangods #lectura #libro #reading #newbook #málaga

A photo posted by Berta Narváez (@bertanarvaez) on

The American Gods executive producer revealed that Technical Boy will be playing in a major season 1 story arc. Technical Boy is just one of the new gods that Shadow meets along his journey. Fuller said that the television version of Technical Boy will be slightly different from the literary character, but that he would still play an important role.

“Technical Boy is a big part of the show,” the American Gods showrunner explained. “He has a huge arc in the first season.”

As Fuller and fellow executive producer, Michael Green, prepare to begin filming in just three months time, they reveal that there is still much to do. Chiefly among those pre-production duties is to cast another major character for American Gods‘ first season. This character, known as House on the Rock, sent the showrunners to Wisconsin to scout for the perfect location.

Speaking of the plot of American Gods, Fuller says he feels good about being able to offer social commentary with this series.

“It’s really an exciting project that gives us the opportunity to talk about faith and belief and the things that inspire us,” Fuller said. “The show also muses on why we’re alive and what we want to do with our lives. I feel very honored to be able to tell the stories within the covers of this book.”

Gaiman does take an interesting approach to the topics of belief and religion with American Gods and he expertly crafts the story without getting too preachy. The novel explores sensitive topics in a fun and enlightening way, and, from the sound of things, Bryan is going to follow Neil’s lead. American Gods will surely entertain, but it may also have something to teach us about the old gods and ancient religions, as well as new beliefs of which we’re not always aware. It will be interesting to see how these issues are tackled in a serialized format.

American Gods will premiere in 2017 on Starz.

[Image by Tim P. Whitby / Getty Images]