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Bryan Fuller Assures Us 'American Gods' Cast Will Not Be Whitewashed

By Cindy Davis | Industry | May 28, 2015 |

By Cindy Davis | Industry | May 28, 2015 |

I know what you’re thinking: American Gods on Starz, how-the-fork-am-I-gonna-watch-that? And I can’t really answer that one, except to send out wishes they’ll do a standalone, HBO Now kind of thing. But what I can tell you is, you’re definitely going to want to watch this thing, because a) It’s an adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s novel, and b) Bryan Fuller is the showrunner (along with Michael Green). Putting together two talents like that could prove even more irresistible than Benioff and Game of Thrones.

One of the first issues Fuller has to tackle of course, is casting the thing, and with the state of diversity on television and film, you may have been wondering how they’ll cast some of the characters, in particular, protagonist Shadow. Fuller has already addressed the importance of getting the character right:

“…Shadow is described as… is he a gypsy? Is he Hispanic? Is he black? Or is he all of those things in one? So we know that he is not white! I think if we cast a white man to play Shadow we would be the biggest assholes on television.”

Now he’s gone even further to reassure fans that keeping true to the characters as Gaiman wrote them:

“One of the things I’m most excited about for American Gods is the diversity in the cast because there’s such a wide range of ethnic Gods in the world. Right now, we’re imagining two white roles and everybody else is non-white, so my goal, Michael’s goal, certainly Neil’s goal has been to have a very ethnically diverse cast. That’s important to all of us.

Also now, we can cite Empire and we can cite The Walking Dead as being primarily non-white in their casting, and they’re the two biggest shows in the world right now, so that has to say something. We have to be moving forward with a representation that is accurate to the world…There’s absolutely no excuse to cast say, Mr Ibis and Mr Jacquel as… those should be African-origin actors in terms of their heritage.”


I’ll tell y’all what; Bryan Fuller gives me hope (note his great Hannibal cast).

As to whether any offers to actors have been made yet, Fuller said they have only “approached” (not made an actual offer) one actor about a lead role. Hmm… The hopes are that once they get the official go-ahead (series order), Neil Gaiman wants to

“…cast Laura and Shadow and Wednesday and Mad Sweeney and Bilquis, because Bilquis will be a major character in the show, and the Technical Boy and then trot them all out on-stage at a Comic-Con coming up. That’s his plan. He’s saying ‘I don’t want to make any casting announcements, I want to announce the cast in full when they walk out on stage at a Comic-Con.’”

For those of you wondering, Comic-Con runs July 9 - 12 this year. For now, get your dreamcasting going.

Fuller noted that Starz executives have read two scripts and they’ll soon see a visual presentation. If they pick up the series, Fuller hopes it’ll air in late 2016. Meanwhile, Fuller’s Hannibal returns to NBC June 4th.

(via Den of Geek)

Cindy Davis, (Twitter)

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