Starz and FremantleMedia North America (FMNA) began production this week on the 10-episode first season of “American Gods,” an adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s acclaimed contemporary fantasy novel. Shooting has commenced in Toronto, Canada, and will continue in additional locations across America.
Joining the previously announced cast are Cloris Leachman (“Malcom in the Middle,” “Raising Hope”) as Zorya Vechernyaya, Peter Stormare (Fargo, “Prison Break”) as Czernobog, Chris Obi (Snow White and the Huntsman, The Counselor) as Anubis, and Mousa Kraish (Superbad, Fast & Furious) as The Jinn.
The cast includes Ricky Whittle as Shadow Moon, Ian McShane as Mr. Wednesday, Emily Browning as Laura Moon, Sean Harris as Mad Sweeney, Yetide Badaki as Bilquis, Bruce Langley as Technical Boy, Crispin Glover as Mr. World, and Jonathan Tucker as Low Key Lyesmith.
Leachman’ Zorya Vechernyaya is the eldest of three sisters who watch over the constellations, guarding against horrors forgotten by modern man. Once accustomed to royal status, the sisters have learned to survive on far less in a country that has no memory of them. Stormare’s Czernobog is a Slavic god of darkness and evil who is reluctant to join the coming war, wary of Wednesday’s motivations. Obi’s Anubis is the commanding ancient Egyptian god of the dead, gently guiding mortals through the judgment of their souls, while Kraish’s The Jinn is a mythical creature of the fire who understands a person’s deepest desires better than they do. He fears for his safety with the coming war and considers fleeing America.
Gaiman’s American Gods has been translated into over 30 languages and earned numerous accolades including Hugo, Nebula, and Bram Stoker Awards for Best Novel. The plot posits 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.
“American Gods” is produced by FremantleMedia North America. Bryan Fuller (“Hannibal,” “Pushing Daisies,” “Heroes”) and Michael Green (“The River,” “Kings,” “Heroes”) are writers and showrunners. David Slade (“Hannibal,” The Twilight Saga: Eclipse) is directing the pilot and additional episodes. FMNA’s Craig Cegielski and Stefanie Berk are executive producing the series along with Fuller, Green, Slade, and Gaiman. Senior Vice Presidents of Original Programming Marta Fernandez and Ken Segna are the Starz executives in charge of “American Gods.” Starz retains all network pay TV and SVOD rights to the project. FremantleMedia is distributing the series worldwide.