With Gillian Anderson not returning for season 2 of American Gods as the god Media, Starz had to come up with a creative way to replace her in the series. Instead of recasting the role of Media, the show will introduce a new character, New Media, with newcomer Kahyun Kim stepping into the role.
American Gods is based on the novel of the same name by Neil Gaiman. It follows the story of a young man, Shadow, whose wife dies in a car accident right before he gets out of prison. Somehow, he ends up getting caught up in a war between the old gods and new gods. As one of those gods, Media, Anderson spent a lot of time with a character focused exclusively on pop culture and television. She appeared throughout the series in costume as some of the most iconic figures in pop culture history, including Lucille Ball, Marilyn Monroe and David Bowie. New Media will step into Media's shoes, although it's unclear as to how the series will explain the change in characters (if it bothers to explain it at all).
Amazon Prime Video revealed the news about Kim's casting on the series as New Media. This comes after Anderson announced that she would not return to the Starz series for its second season. Anderson decided to leave after learning that season 1 showrunners Bryan Fuller and Michael Green would also not return. Although it seemed like the series was in trouble, production on season 2 continued with Jesse Alexander in the showrunner seat. It was previously announced that Media would get replaced by New Media, and that Gaiman would oversee production on the show.
Deadline also reported that Starz cast two more actors in roles for season 2 of the series. Dean Winters (John Wick) will portray Mr. Town, while Devery Jacobs (The Order) will play Sam Black Crow.
American Gods made ScreenRant's list of Top 5 Favorite TV Shows of 2017 as well as became one of the top trending TV shows on Google for that same year. Although Fuller promised a second season that was even more exciting, crazier and longer, there is still no confirmation that these are the same plans in place with the new showrunner. The season 1 finale started leading up to events that will eventually result in the gods' war in the novel, so it's still likely that's where season 2 will pick up.
Starz is betting a lot on Kim, who is relatively unknown. But considering Anderson's level of fame, perhaps that is the best way to go: New Media can create something new that isn't so much a replacement for an existing character as it is a brand new character.
Source: Amazon Prime Video