The Starz TV adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s award-winning fantasy novel American Gods just cast its lead, Shadow Moon: English actor Ricky Whittle, who’s probably best-known as Lincoln on The 100.


According to a Starz press release:

The plot posits a war brewing between old and new gods: the traditional gods of mythological roots from around the world steadily losing believers to an upstart pantheon of gods reflecting society’s modern love of money, technology, media, celebrity and drugs. Its protagonist, Shadow Moon, is an ex-con who becomes bodyguard and traveling partner to Mr. Wednesday, a conman but in reality one of the older gods, on a cross-country mission to gather his forces in preparation to battle the new deities.

Per the same press release, Gaiman has put an enthusiastic stamp of approval on Whittle’s casting:


I’m thrilled that Ricky has been cast as Shadow. His auditions were remarkable. The process of taking a world out of the pages of a book, and putting it onto the screen has begun. American Gods is, at its heart, a book about immigrants, and it seems perfectly appropriate that Shadow will, like so much else, be Coming to America. I’m delighted Ricky will get to embody Shadow. Now the fun starts.

Bryan Fuller (Hannibal, Heroes) and Michael Green (Heroes) will be American Gods’ showrunners and writers; David Slade (who directed several key episodes of Hannibal, as well as features 30 Days of Night and The Twilight Saga: Eclipse) will helm the pilot. It’s expected to air in 2017. Filming is slated to start in April, though, which means one burning question will have to be resolved soon: Who will play Mr. Wednesday?

Image: Ricky Whittle attends the “The 100" press line on day 2 of Comic-Con International on Friday, July 10, 2015, in San Diego. (Photo by Paul A. Hebert/Invision/AP)