Starz’s adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s American Gods has been generating buzz and interest among TV fans for months even though the upcoming series has yet to nail down a specific premiere date. Based on the novel of the same name, the story follows Shadow Moon (Ricky Whittle) who is drawn into a war between the new and old gods due to his association with Mr. Wednesday (Ian McShane). While many have praised the casting of McShane as Mr. Wednesday, American Gods nearly starred a different actor: Nicolas Cage.

Cage is a bit of an odd actor to pin down. On the one hand, he has one Oscar (for Leaving Las Vegas) and multiple award nominations. On the other, he has The Wicker Man and other such disastrous films. In fact, the joke seemed to be that he would never say no to a role, based on the later additions to his filmography. However, it appears there was at least one role he did turn down.

In a recent interview with the LA Times, Cage revealed he was offered the role of Mr. Wednesday. When talking about his lack of TV roles, he said:

“You know, it’s a good point and I’ve been invited many times to go on a show, one of which was on Neil Gaiman’s American Gods to play Mr. Wednesday, which was a great part, beautifully written. And I said no.”

Ian McShane as Mr Wednesday in American Gods Nicolas Cage Almost Played American Gods Mr. Wednesday

It seems as though Cage’s filmography will remain firmly on the silver screen, for better or for worse. The actor continued on, explaining his decision to remain a film actor — though he leaves the door open to TV roles:

“It probably would be good for me globally as a career move to do television, and never say never — I probably will one day. But the idea of being stuck in one city for months on end playing a part — while that might be interesting, I could see where I might start to feel trapped. … I’m just still a little bit of a snob. I mean, I’m holding on. Again, I’m never going to say never but I’m, like, kicking and screaming that I just want to stay in movies.”

All in all, it might be for the best that he did turn down the role. It’s hard to imagine a better actor for the role of Mr. Wednesday than McShane. Still, it is interesting that the producers initially considered Cage for the part, especially given the mismatched quality of his later work. The role does require a lot of charisma, which Cage does have in spades; perhaps this is why he was initially considered.

American Gods is set to premiere sometime in 2017.

Source: The Los Angeles Times

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