I’m a Neil Gaiman fan (who isn’t, right?). So I was thrilled when I heard that HBO was going to go with an American Gods series, in the style of Game of Thrones. I immediately started thinking about actors who might be cast, as I think the casting of Game of Thrones is just pure genius.

The story is about Shadow, who learns on the day that he gets out of jail that his girlfriend died in a car crash. He then gets offered a job by a mysterious man who calls himself Mr. Wednesday. They travel across the US and meet characters of legend and myth. And of course, not all is as it seems.

Here is my back-of-napkin style spitballing for the American Gods casting.


Shadow is thirty-two years old but a prison guard says to him, “You look younger.” From descriptions, it is clear that he is at least part not-white:

“And what are you? A spic? A gypsy?”

“Not that I know of, sir. Maybe.”

“Maybe you got nigger blood in you. You got nigger blood in you, Shadow?”

“Could be, sir.” Shadow stood tall and looked straight ahead, and concentrated on not allowing himself to be riled by this man.

In conversation, we get to know that he intends to go back to work at a gym, partly to win back customers. He must have muscles.

And finally, he comes across, to me at least, as a reticent fellow. So who do we cast as an well-muscled olive-skinned man-of-few-words who looks younger than his true age and can be a bit dark?

Dominic Cooper, that’s who.

Perhaps, since Mr. Cooper is not burly and tall, the more obvious choice would be Oded Fehr, but he doesn’t pass the age thing. It’s a toss-up. Also, if you haven’t seen The Devil’s Double, do so now.

Low Key Lyesmith

Here’s what we know: Low Key is described as “a grifter from Minnesota” who “smiled his scarred smile.” “Lyesmith kept his orange-blond hair pretty much shaved. You could see the lines of his skull.”

We know from mythology and the way it is represented in popular culture that Low Key (trying not to spoil) is a trickster with a penchant for outright evildoing and violence.

So just for the sake of all that is good and holy, let’s cast Benedict Cumberbatch in this role already. Ok?


He would not be my first choice if it hadn’t been for the way he appears in the Star Trek trailers.

Mr. Wednesday

Let’s see what we got:

“His hair was a reddish gray; his beard, little more than stubble, was grayish red. A craggy, square face with pale gray eyes.”

“The grin got bigger. Shadow found himself remembering a PBS show about chimpanzees. The show claimed that when apes and chimps smile it’s only to bare their teeth in a grimace of hate or aggression or terror. When a chimp grins, it’s a threat. “

He was almost Shadow’s height, and Shadow was a big man.

Dream cast is of course Jack Nicholson, but we all know that isn’t going to happen. So who? A grinner, a man who can be mischievous and deadly serious. Shadow and Mr. Wednesday meet on an airplane, where Mr. Wednesday is wearing a suit, drinking and grinning. I’ve got just the man for the job (since Mr. Nicholson is probably not available).


The ever-underrated Peter Stormare. Those of you who saw him as Lucifer in comic-book-adaptation Constantine will agree with me.

Do you agree? Who would you like to see instead?


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