Starz's adaptation of Neil Gaiman's epic American Gods has commenced casting, and in doing so has already found its lead. In a press release issued today we learn British thespian Ricky Whittle has been cast as the protagonist, Shadow Moon.
Whittle’s credits include “The 100,” “Austenland,” “Hollyoaks,” “Mistresses,” “NCIS” and “Holby City.” Though he's been working for years, he can still be considered an relatively unknown commodity.
American Gods concerns...
a war brewing between old and new gods: the traditional gods of 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, is an ex-con who becomes bodyguard and traveling partner to Mr. Wednesday, a conman but in reality one of the older gods, on a cross-country mission to gather his forces in preparation to battle the new deities.According to Gaiman, Whittle's audition is what nailed it.
I'm thrilled that Ricky has been cast as Shadow. His auditions were remarkable. The process of taking a world out of the pages of a book, and putting it onto the screen has begun. American Gods is, at its heart, a book about immigrants, and it seems perfectly appropriate that Shadow will, like so much else, be Coming to America. I'm delighted Ricky will get to embody Shadow. Now the fun starts.”
American Gods is being overseen by Hannibal's Bryan Fuller and ALIEN: COVENANT co-writer Michael Green. David Slade (Hannibal) is directing the pilot.