The latest addition to Bryan Fuller and Michael Green’s hotly anticipated adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s novel American Gods is legendary actor Ian McShane. The series will follow mysterious figure Shadow (Ricky Whittle), who is released from prison having served three years behind bars for his involvement in a bank robbery, only for his beloved wife Laura (yet to be cast) is killed in a car accident. Flying home for the funeral, Shadow finds himself sat beside a man who introduces himself as Mr. Wednesday (Ian McShane), and claims to know more about Shadow’s life, both past and present, than is seemingly possible. Over the course of time, Shadow comes to learn that Wednesday is in fact the Norse god Odin and that all of the gods that mankind has ever believed in are humans, who roam the earth to this day. Shadow finds himself engulfed in a battle between the gods of old and the “New Gods” – being Money, Power, Technology and Influence.
This isn’t the first time that McShane has been involved in a Gaiman inspired project, having already worked on 2009’s Coraline and Gaiman is more than happy to have McShane back on board – “When you write a beloved character like Mr. Wednesday, you get to watch the internet trying to cast the role,” Gaiman says. “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. Now I count myself even luckier: he’s made the journey from Lovejoy to American Gods. Yesterday was Super Tuesday. Today is Wonderful Wednesday.”
The series is expected to launch Stateside on HBO in October and made available next year for Irish viewers, although there is no word yet as to which network will pick the series up.