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From the paranormal to the mythological: Gillian Anderson joins Starz show ‘American Gods’

A war between gods old and new is coming, and X-Files star Gillian Anderson will be part of the fray. Starz and FremantleMedia North America announced Friday that the actress has been cast in the upcoming fantasy drama series American Gods.

An adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s novel of the same name, the series will center on two distinct sets of gods on the cusp of war. At the root of the problem will be the shift by the public from believing in traditional gods, rooted in mythology, to following more modern gods, who reflect modern society’s obsessions: money, drugs, fame, technology, and media. Specifically, the story will follow Shadow Moon, the bodyguard-slash-travel companion of conman Mr. Wednesday, an older god who is rallying allies.

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Anderson, on the other hand, will be part of the new camp. She plays Media, who serves as the spokesperson for the new gods and is able to take the form of celebrities. She is as cunning as she is charismatic, and her stories are calculated to bring about the best possible outcome.

The actress, of course, is known for her iconic role as Dana Scully on The X-Files, a show that was revived to great success earlier this year. Although not yet confirmed, a second installment seems likely.  Anderson’s recent work also includes the BBC TV miniseries War and Peace, and she is currently working on another season of The Fall, also for the British broadcaster. She has won multiple Screen Actors Guild Awards, an Emmy, and a Golden Globe over the course of her career, among other honors.

American Gods is written by Bryan Fuller and Michael Green, both of whom also serve as co-showrunners. David Slade is set to direct the pilot, among other episodes. The show is produced by FremantleMedia North America with Craig Cegielski and Stefanie Berk executive producing alongside Fuller, Green, Slade, and Gaiman.