‘Deadwood’ and ‘Game of Thrones’ star Ian McShane is set to grace another series with his commanding presence. The actor is set to play Mr. Wednesday on Starz’ adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s prose novel ‘American Gods’. The story follows the downfall of the classic gods of mythology as they lose power to a new pantheon based more on modern humanity’s obsession with “money, technology, media, celebrity and drugs.” Mr. Wednesday is the book’s focal character, a con man who embarks on a journey across the U.S. to gather a following in anticipation of the coming power struggle. McShane previously voiced Mr. Bobinsky in the stop motion animated adaptation of ‘Coraline’ also written by Gaiman.
“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’.”
Fuller and Green issued the following announcement:
“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.”
Here is the show’s description:
A man, broken and alone, wishes only to survive his time in prison long enough to see his wife. Again. Although unexpected news releases him from prison early, it is hardly the news he wishes. Left feeling like he is looking at the world from the bottom of a well, he must literally walk the heroes’ path back to a time where he even resembles sanity.
David Slade is tapped to direct the pilot and additional episodes.
Are you a fan of this novel? Is McShane the right choice to portray Mr. Wednesday?