American Gods, the acclaimed fantasy novel, is now being developed into a cable television series by Bryan Fuller (Hannibal, Pushing Daisies) and Michael Green (Heroes) for Starz. The show’s story follows main character and ex-convict Shadow Moon (Ricky Whittle) and his travelling companion Mr. Wednesday (Ian McShane) as he is set free from a long stretch in prison to find that the life wanted to return to is gone. Shadow eventually gets drawn into a bloody feud between the old gods who were brought to America by immigrants and the new gods that have emerged from the staples of modern American life, like the internet and even drugs.
The original novel, written by award-winning author Neil Gaiman (Coraline, Neverwhere) captivated readers by creating an entirely new, yet relatable, fantasy world. The upcoming television series, set to debut on Starz, is shaping up to be quite an accurate adaptation, sticking close to the source material with both “hyper-real” imagery and concrete characters that remain faithful to the novel’s mythological tone.
In a press release, Starz revealed the first image of one particular American Gods character: Bilquis, the old goddess of love. You can check said image, following the official description of the character below:
Bilquis, played by Yetide Badaki (Aquarius, Masters of Sex) is an ancient goddess of love who craves the worship she inspired in eras long gone, and is eager to find that same relevance in today’s world.
Despite many production hurdles since the show entered development, American Gods finally landed at Starz after an attempt to launch the series at HBO didn’t pan out. The TV show has already nailed down a star-studded cast of talent with Ricky Whittle (The 100) as Shadow Moon and Ian McShane (Deadwood) as Mr. Wednesday, his traveling partner and best friend.
The American Gods cast also features Emily Browning (Sucker Punch) as Laura Moon, Sean Harris (The Borgias) as Mad Sweeney, Dane Cook as Robbie, Bruce Langley (Deadly Waters) as Technical Boy, Crispin Glover (Back to the Future) as Mr. World, and Jonathan Tucker (Kingdom) as Low Key Lyesmith. Also appearing are Cloris Leachman (Malcom in The Middle) as Zorya Vechernyaya, Peter Stormare (Fargo) as Czernobog, and fan favorite Gillian Anderson (The X-Files) as the screen-queen goddess, Media.
The appearances of Gaiman’s characters are so essential to the source material’s central theme about the powers of belief. With the release of each new character image, we can see just how perfectly Fuller and Green are capturing the heart of the novel. While the war between the gods is raging, the old gods, including Bilquis, are struggling to remain relevant and stay powerful in today’s world by trying to find their new place while keeping and gaining believers. The old gods of the world are “steadily losing believers to an upstart pantheon of [new] gods,” as a result.
American Gods is currently filming and is expected to air on Starz in 2017