American Gods & Gaiman Find Their Shadow


American Gods by Neil GaimanAnyone who knows me knows I love me some Neil Gaiman.

In my opinion, he’s one of the best writers working in speculative fiction. He tackles different types of stories, always takes the time to get them right, and then is a class act when promoting and interacting with his fans. He not only cares about his work but he cares about the publishing industry, the library system, and human culture at large. He’s a remarkable human being.

When I heard that American Gods could be adapted for TV, I knew it was the right course to take. The novel is filled with memorable characters&mdahs;all a bit odd—and their quirkiness can be best captured in the TV format. Add that Neil had a certain level of involvement, and I was more than happy.

Then people started talking about Shadow, the main character, and who should play the role. There were some great names offered up from fans of the novel. Sadly, some people argued for several white actors, which many of us cringed at.

But after a year of waiting, we have our Shadow! Ricky Whittle! Here is a photo and Neil Gaiman’s comment about the casting:


“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.” — Neil Gaiman

It truly is a sad commentary on Hollywood when a character gets cast with the appropriate ethnicity—and the internets cheer about them getting it right for once! I’m excited for Ricky Whittle and his Shadow. He brings a dark but eloquent and thoughtful presence to the role. What do you think?

This is one of those shows where I also hope we get extra story because the story itself lends itself to a broader adaptation!

Can’t wait for American Gods! Maybe time for a re-read!

Neil, well done!

speakman-shawnShawn Speakman is the author of The Dark Thorn, an urban/epic fantasy hybrid novel bestselling author Terry Brooks calls, “a fine tale by a talented writer.” He also edited the bestselling anthology Unfettered.

When Shawn isn’t lying for a living, he runs The Signed Page and Grim Oak Press. Follow him on Facebook and @shawnspeakman!