For Neil Gaiman fans, 2017 can’t get here soon enough. The long-awaited Starz adaptation of his seminal novel, American Gods, is well into production and is expected to grace our television screens with images that Gaiman himself has previously described as “gorgeous.” As if that wasn’t a good enough sign for fans of the novel, the cast itself is something to behold.
Under the guiding hand of Bryan Fuller (Hannibal), American Gods has assembled a stellar cast that includes the likes of Ian McShane (Deadwood) as Mr. Wednesday, Crispin Glover (Back to the Future) as Mr. World, and Ricky Whittle (The 100) as Shadow Moon. That’s an impressive roster of talent being brought together, one befitting of the source material’s acclaim and place it holds in the minds of fans. Now, on top of the already monumental collection of actors Starz has assembled, the series has added one more impressive heavy-hitter to its cast.
Deadline is reporting Gillian Anderson (The X-Files) has been officially added to the cast of the series, giving fans one more thing to look forward to when American Gods premieres next year. The actress is set to play Media, face of the New Gods in their war against the Old Gods.
The series revolves around the brewing war between the old, forgotten gods of yesteryear and the new gods that have popped up to serve the mythological needs of modern man. Steeped in myth, the plot revolves around Whittle's Shadow Moon teaming up with the mysterious one-eyed Mr. Wednesday in a cross country trip to rally the old gods to the cause. Anderson’s character is said to gain her power from attention humanity gives to their screens (movie, TV, computer, phone, or otherwise) and often takes the form of celebrities to get her fix of worship.
It’s frankly the perfect role for Anderson. Her appearance on The X-Files catapulted her to the forefront of celebrity geekdom back in the '90s giving the actress plenty of fodder from which to draw on for this narcissistic New God. Anderson, who has been the focus of obsession over everything from looks to aging to talent for the last 20 plus years, knows as well as anybody the power that media and celebrity worship holds over both the general public and the people behind the celebrity image.
This will no doubt give Anderson an interesting take on the character which seems to be a satirical take on our current culture, much like many of the elements of the novel that came before it. In the novel, Media first rose to power under the guise of Lucy Ricardo, the character made famous by Lucille Ball in the 1950’s, and evolved from there, later appearing as a newscaster. As the spokesperson for the New Gods, Media is able to control the narrative in the ongoing battle between the two sets of gods over the hearts and minds of humanity.
Whether or not the Fuller series takes the same path as the novel is as of yet up in the air. A lot has changed in the world since the novel’s first publication in 2001, including the rise of smart phones and the exponential growth of computer and internet technologies. This gives the series plenty more to work with for the character, and that could impact the way she is portrayed in the series.
Regardless, everything we’ve heard about American Gods thus far gives fans nothing but high expectations for what the series finally brings to the table. Between the comments from Gaiman himself, all of the casting news, and the addition of Anderson, this series looks to be shaping up as potentially the television event of 2017. We’ll keep you posted on additional updates as they’re available.
American Gods is anticipated to premiere on Starz sometime in 2017.