Ian McShane Is One of Starz's 'American Gods' as He Lands Key Role

The 'Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides' actor will play Mr. Wednesday on the TV adaptation of Neil Gaiman's fantasy novel.

AceShowbiz - Ian McShane is cast on "American Gods" TV series. The "Deadwood" alum has landed a key role of Mr. Wednesday on the Starz adaptation of Neil Gaiman's popular fantasy novel. He will star opposite Ricky Whittle who has been tapped to play another central character, Shadow Moon.

"Yesterday was Super Tuesday. Today is Wonderful Wednesday," Gaiman says in response to McShane's casting. "When you write a beloved character (beloved with, or despite, or because of all his faults) like Mr. Wednesday, you get to watch the internet trying to cast the role. 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 (he was bright blue in it, animated, and probably Polish). Now I count myself even luckier: he's made the journey from 'Lovejoy' to 'American Gods'."

Bryan Fuller and Michael Green, who executive produce the straight-to-series drama, add, "Actor. Icon. And now god. It is a goddamn delight to be collaborating with the incomparable Ian McShane - again and for the first time - on a story about faith and belief, with the utmost faith and belief in Mr. McShane as our Mr. Wednesday. A wonderful Wednesday indeed."

The novel that blends Americana, fantasy, and various strands of ancient and modern mythology follows Shadow Moon, an ex-con who becomes bodyguard for Mr. Wednesday, a con man but in reality one of the older gods who travels across America to gather American manifestations of the Old Gods of ancient mythology to prepare for a battle against the New American Gods.

Mr. Wednesday is described as a crafty and endlessly charismatic con man and an incarnation of All-Father Odin, who is full of perverse wisdom, curious magic, and grand plans. The role marks McShane's return to Starz after he starred on miniseries "The Pillars of the Earth" that helped him earn a Golden Globe nomination.

McShane recently appeared on Showtime's "Ray Donovan" and is set to star on "Game of Thrones" season 6 in a mysterious role.

Production on "American Gods" series will begin in April. Fuller and Green will pen the script and serve as showrunners. David Slade will direct the pilot and additional episodes.

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