Starz announced on Thursday that, after a particularly grueling casting process, The 100‘s Ricky Whittle will be staring in the upcoming series American Gods. The series is a TV adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s bestselling novel by the same name, and Whittle will be playing the main character, Shadow Moon.
The plot follows Shadow Moon (Whittle), a former con-artist, who becomes the bodyguard and traveling companion to Mr. Wednesday, who is a conman and so much more. Mr. Wednesday is actually a god from an older generation who is traveling across the country to gather an army to battle a newer and younger pantheon of gods. A war is on the horizon between the gods of mythology and new gods who are sprouting from modern society’s obsessions with money, technology, media, celebrities, and drugs.
Gaiman’s American Gods has won multiple awards including the Hugo, Nebula, and Bram Stoker awards for Best Novel. The novel has also been made available to many different audiences and has been translated into over 30 languages.
Variety reports Gaiman said in a statement, “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.”
Whittle’s credits include Mistresses, NCIS, Hollyoaks, Holby City, and he appeared in Austenland. But the British-born actor is perhaps best known for his current role as Lincoln in The 100 on the CW. Lincoln started as a recurring character in season 1 but became a regular in season 2 because the Octavia and Lincoln romance story-arc is adorable, even if they are both a little rough around the edges. The 100 just had a strong season 3 premiere, but Deadline seems to have the scoop that Whittle’s run on the post-apocalyptic series will be coming to an end this season. This tends to be the case in The 100, but that doesn’t mean it gets any easier losing one of your favorite characters.
As one show loses a character, another gains one, and it sounds like the American Gods showrunners are excited for us to meet Shadow. In addition to Gaiman’s statement, showrunners Bryan Fuller and Michael Green said, “We searched every continent and country and all the islands in between for our Shadow Moon, and we are lucky to have found Ricky. Fans of the novel will find he has every bit of the heart of the character they fell in love with.”
The series is set to begin filming in April.