Get your first look at Ian McShane as Mr. Wednesday in American Gods
Production on Starz's adaptation of Neil Gaiman's "American Gods" is still ongoing in Toronto, but thanks to Entertainment Weekly, we have our first look at Ian McShane as Mr. Wednesday, Ricky Whittle as Shadow, and Pablo Schreiber as Mad Sweeney, all occupying Jack’s Crocodile Bar. Bryan Fuller, co-creator of the upcoming series, said that the bar "was one of the sets that we were the most excited about and an opportunity to do a tonal landgrab for what we are and what the style of the show will be. Jack’s] is a kind of hillbilly chic aesthetic for Shadow’s entrée into the world of the gods.”
I know next to nothing about Neil Gaiman's novel so I can't really put in my two cents in regards to the casting, but putting together Bryan Fuller (Hannibal) and Ian McShane (Deadwood) is a surefire way to get me to check out your series. Speaking of McShane's character of Mr. Wednesday, Fuller said:
I think the comedy and charm and ease of Wednesday’s appeal is very well-suited for Ian McShane. He has a vibrancy as Wednesday that could have gone so many different ways in other actors’ hands, but has such a specificity and reality, despite the situation at hand.
American Gods takes place in a world where gods are real and use the human race as pawns in a grand chess game for humanity’s attention. Ricky Whittle's character of Shadow is at the center of the conflict as he gets caught up in the war of worship between the old gods and the new. Fuller has long been a fan of Gaiman's novel and praised the author for creating "this wonderfully stuffed toy box filled with all sorts of cultural points of view on how American operates as a system, and that was so fascinating and mythological in and of itself. It’s really much more of an immigration story than it is a god story." Bryan Fuller's American Gods co-creator Michael Green added:
One of the biggest challenges was stripping the idea of gods as X-Men or giant empowered creatures who stomp on cities and throw the oceans. We wanted them to be people with problems. It’s not about lightning bolts – it’s about the question of day-to-day survival.
The ten-episode first season of American Gods will premiere on Starz in 2017.