Starz and FremantleMedia North America (FMNA) announced today that Orlando Jones (Madiba, Sleepy Hollow) will play Mr. Nancy in the upcoming adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s acclaimed contemporary fantasy novel, American Gods.
Jones will play Mr. Nancy, the old African trickster god more commonly known as Anansi, and one of Mr. Wednesday’s (Ian McShane) oldest confidantes. Like Wednesday, Nancy is ready to bring this new America (and its new gods) to its knees, desperate to light a fire and watch the whole world burn.
Demore Barnes (12 Monkeys) has also been added to the cast as Mr. Ibis, the keeper of stories, past and present, and he recounts them with great relish. His old fashioned sensibilities do not preclude a wry wit.
Jones and Barnes join previously announced stars Ricky Whittle (Shadow Moon), Ian McShane (Mr. Wednesday), Emily Browning (Laura Moon), Pablo Schreiber (Mad Sweeney), Yetide Badaki (Bilquis), Bruce Langley (Technical Boy), Crispin Glover (Mr. World), Jonathan Tucker (Low Key Lyesmith), Gillian Anderson (Media), Peter Stormare (Czernobog), and Cloris Leachman (Zorya Vechernyaya).
American Gods has been translated into over 30 languages and earned numerous accolades including Hugo, Nebula and Bram Stoker Awards for Best Novel. 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.
American Gods is produced by FremantleMedia North America. Bryan Fuller (Hannibal, Pushing Daisies, Heroes) and Michael Green (The River, Kings, Heroes) are writers and showrunners. David Slade (Hannibal, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse) is directing the pilot and additional episodes. FMNA’s Craig Cegielski and Stefanie Berk are executive producing the series along with Fuller, Green, Slade and Neil Gaiman. Senior Vice Presidents of Original Programming Marta Fernandez and Ken Segna are the Starz executives in charge of American Gods. Starz retains all network pay TV and SVOD rights to the project. FremantleMedia is distributing the series worldwide.