Neil Gaiman's 'American Gods' Adds Cloris Leachman and Others, Blesses Toronto

Anubis, Czernobog, Zorya Vechernyaya, and The Jinn have been cast in Starz's 'American Gods.'


Up north in Toronto, production has started on American Gods. The 10-episode adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s acclaimed fantasy novel, which will air on Starz next year, is overseen by showrunners Bryan Fuller (Hannibal) and Michael Green (creator of NBC’s Kings, writer of Wolverine 3). In addition, the show announced today four key characters from the book have been cast.

The legendary Cloris Leachman (Mary Tyler Moore Show) will play Zorya Vechernyaya, the eldest of three royal and magical sisters now living in poverty; Peter Stormare (Fargo, Prison Break) will play the Slavic god of evil Czernobog; Chris Obi (also cast in DreamWorks’s upcoming Ghost in the Shell) will be the Egyptian god Anubis now working as an undertaker; and Mousa Kraish will play The Jinn.

Based on Gaiman’s 2001 novel of the same name, about an ex-con named Shadow roped into accompanying the mysterious Mr. Wednesday on a road trip across the United States. Some of the places written in the book, according to Gaiman in the Author’s Preferred Text from 2011, are indeed real and accessible to all. But while it seems off a celebrated novel about America is shooting in Canada, fret not. Production is scheduled to occur in locales “across America” according to the press release.

Left to right: Author Neil Gaiman, showrunners Bryan Fuller and Michael Green, on location in Toronto for 'American Gods.'

Neil Gaiman on set for 'American Gods.'

Already on board is series star Ricky Whittle (The 100), who will play Shadow Moon; Ian McShane as Mr. Wednesday; Emily Browning as Laura Moon; Sean Harris as the leprechaun Mad Sweeney; and Jonathan Tucker as Low Key Lyesmith.

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