American Gods casts Mr Wednesday and it’s perfect

Deadwood star joins American Gods TV series


When Ricky Whittle was announced as having been cast as Shadow in American Gods, we were thrilled, but there was still one very big question to answer: who would play Mr Wednesday?

Well, that question has been answered and we couldn’t be happier.

Ian McShane

THR reports that Ian McShane has been cast as Neil Gaiman’s unforgettable creation, in a decision that’s about as perfect as “Bryan Fuller should be showrunner for American Gods.

The site describes the character as “powerful and charismatic — a Casanova of sorts — who is a con man and an incarnation of All-Father Odin, who’s traveling America recruiting his fellow forgotten deities to wage an epic battle 
against the new American gods.”

Roguish charm and hints of menace are something that McShane can do in his sleep, but it will be very exciting to see him sink his teeth into a character this meaty, especially after scene-stealing guest appearances in American Horror Story: Asylum and (we’re assuming) the upcoming season of Game Of Thrones. Along with this and that long-rumoured Deadwood movie (it will happen if we believe it will happen), this is a very good time to be an Ian McShane fan. It’s also the second time McShane has been a Gaiman character, having played Mr Bobinsky in the brilliant Coraline.

Neil Gaiman said “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.”

Production on the series gets underway in April, with Hannibal veteran David Slade directing the pilot, and Fuller writing and show-running with The River‘s Michael Green.

“The drama centers on a war brewing between old and new gods: the traditional gods of biblical and 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 (Ricky Whittle), is an ex-con who becomes bodyguard and traveling partner to Mr. Wednesday, a con man but in reality one of the older gods, on a cross-country mission to gather his forces in preparation for a battle with the new deities.”

Keep up with the latest genre news with the new issue of SciFiNow.