Starz’s upcoming TV adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s 2001 novel American God has added another star: Ian McShane is now set to play Mr. Wednesday, reports Variety. The British actor is best known for his roles on HBO’s Deadwood and the BBC’s Lovejoy.
As Mr. Wednesday, McShane will be the employer of Shadow Moon (played by Ricky Whittle), who is the focus of the story. Shadow is an ex-con who works as Mr. Wednesday’s bodyguard and traveling partner. Beyond that, though, he finds himself in the midst of a battle between ancient gods, from multiple cultures, and the modern ones of fame, media, and technology.
The series is being executive produced by Bryan Fuller and Michael Green, both of whom also serve as writers and showrunners. The two have worked on numerous acclaimed series over the years, including Hannibal and Dead Like Me, in the case of Fuller, and Smallville and Gotham, in the case of Green. They previously collaborated on Heroes.
David Slade, who directed multiple episodes of Hannibal, is set to direct the American Gods pilot, among other episodes. Gaiman will serve as a writer of the series, participating in the TV adaptation of his own novel. Each will executive produce as well, along with FremantleMedia North America’s Craig Cegielski and Stefanie Berk.
McShane has made the rounds of premium TV networks, recently appearing in Showtime’s Ray Donovan, Deadwood on HBO, and the Starz miniseries The Pillars of the Earth, for which he was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Miniseries or Television Film. The actor is also set to appear in the upcoming sixth season of Game of Thrones.
Production on American Gods is scheduled to start in April in Toronto. A series premiere date has not yet been announced.