Updated 09:08 AM EST, Mon, Jan 25, 2021

Ricky Whittle Gets Lead in Neil Gaiman's 'American Gods' TV Adaptation

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Neil Gaiman's best-selling novel "American Gods" will soon hit the small screen with English actor Ricky Whittle playing the lead role.

According to Screen Rant, the beginning of production has finally been set after Starz and FremantleMedia North America officially declared "The 100" star to play Shadow Moon in the upcoming series.

The show, which is set to air on Starz between the end of 2016 or the first half of 2017, will be produced by Bryan Fuller, who became known for his work with "Hannibal."

Fuller is also helping Michael Green do the script for the first few episodes, along with another great writer: the author of the book himself, Neil Gaiman.

According to Den of Geek, the pilot episode will be helmed by David Slade, another great mind behind "Hannibal."

"American Gods" follows the story of Shadow Moon, who "finds his world turned upside down" after being released from prison.

In a statement posted in Vanity Fair, Gaiman stressed the weight of the character, noting that Whittle's casting comes as a blessing to the show.

"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," he said.

According to the outlet, there had been concerns about the live-action adaptation of the book, considering how Hollywood has a tendency to cast "a white actor" for characters that have been described loosely.

"Shadow is a racially ambiguous character with 'coffee and cream' skin and a mother who may have been either Native American or African-American," the report read, further making an example of Jennifer Lawrence's Katniss Everdeen in the "Hunger Games."

Meanwhile, Green and Fuller said that they scoured "every continent and country and all the islands in between" to find the perfect actor for the role and ended up with Whittle who "has every bit of the heart of the character [fans of the book] fell in love with."

Actors to play the other characters in the book have yet to be announced, but Vanity Fair believes that the show is off to a good start when they brought the British-born actor on-board.

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