The upcoming Starz production of Neil Gaiman's prolific novel American Gods is gaining momentum with new casting announcements dropping regularly to compliment the already stellar melange of talent attached to the project. Gaiman's characters have a recognizable tone of rich eccentricity that makes this kind of news all the more compelling for fans eagerly awaiting this adaptation - and the latest is no less exciting.
American Gods' lead character, ex con Shadow Moon (Ricky Whittle) begins his narrative journey with a conflict involving his wife Laura (Emily Browning) and his best friend Robbie (book fans will know where this is going...) So, the casting of this friend/foe in the shape of the somewhat controversial comedian/actor Dane Cook could be a perfect fit for the role.
American Gods tells the story of a brewing war between the waning old Gods brought to the U.S. through the traditional beliefs of the various international immigrants that make up the American population, and the new Gods that have sprung from modern American's preoccupation with contemporary commodities such as money, drugs, media and the Internet. The enigmatic old God Mr. Wednesday (Ian McShane) employs the taciturn Shadow moon as a bodyguard and they embark on a road trip across the forgotten and seedier parts of the country to unite other old Gods for the upcoming battle for believers - before their powers wane and they face obscurity.
The American Gods TV show already has many promising factors such as the endorsement and participation of Gaiman himself (in writing and producing capacity) and the talent of Brian Fuller (Hannibal) and Michael Green (Heroes) as showrunners. McShane and Whittle will be joined by a range of accomplished actors such as Orlando Jones (Sleepy Hollow) and Gillian Anderson (The X-Files) and now Cook (as reported by Deadline). Cook is well known for his stand up comedy, appearances in films such as Dan In Real Life and My Best Friend's Girl and his show Troublemaker for Showtime.
As Cook is renowned for his dark and somewhat vulgar humor, this morally challenged antagonist Robbie is adept casting choice from the American Gods showrunners. The sharp-witted comedian should be able to run with and audiences should engage with in response to his reputation and past work.
Now the main roles for American Gods are sealed in, the castings of the smaller parts are something the showrunners should be able to have some fun with. The capricious characters Gaiman creates are perfect for fitting cameos from larger than life names as a device for layering gratifying derision to the TV show adaptation. We will keep you informed of all additions as they are announced, of course.
American Gods is expected air on Starz in 2017.