Playtone, Tom Hanks’ production company, is currently working on a television series based on Neil Gaiman’s novel American Gods, which is expected to show on HBO in late 2013 or early 2014.
Playtone has several successful series to its credit, including Band of Brothers, The Pacific, John Adams, and Electric City. The series is to be directed by Robert Richardson (cinematographer for The Aviator, Hugo and Django Unchained) and the script written by Richardson and Gaiman.
No word yet has been released on the casting, so I thought I’d play the fore-casting game (haha) and propose my pick of actors. I want to emphasize that this is a wish list, not news I read anywhere.
Shadow Moon: Jason Momoa (Khal Drogo in A Game of Thrones, Ronon Dex in Stargate: Atlantis). He’s got the physique and the mixed heritage.
Laura: Evangeline Lilly (Kate Austen in Lost). She can be charming, she can be deadly. And really, wouldn’t you want to bring her back from the dead?
Mr. Wednesday: John Goodman (a plethora of good roles, but I’m picking him for his performance as Charlie Meadows in Barton Fink, Creighton Bernette in Treme, and Walter Sobchak in The Big Lebowski, plus his physique.)
Czernebog: Harry Dean Stanton (Toot-Toot in The Green Mile, Carl Rodd in Twin Peaks, Bud in Repo Man). He chain-smokes and no one does angry old curmudgeon with sudden flashes of insight better.
Mr. Nancy: Michael Kenneth Williams (Chalky White on Boardwalk Empires, Omar Little on The Wire) because I’m betting he can play a light-hearted canny schemer.
Samantha Black Crow: Sera-Lys McArthur (Hailey Martin on Artic Air). She is of mixed race, with heritage from the Nakota First Nation in Saskatchewan.
Marguerite Olsen: Alex Rice (Janet Pete in the PBS movies based on Tony Hillman’s Jim Chee and Joe Leaphorn mysteries, Sue Clearwater in the Twilight movies). She is a Kanien’kehaka (Mohawk) and continues to be an active and proud member of the Mohawk Nation from Kahnawake in Quebec.
Mr. Ibis: Lance Reddick (Phillip Broyles on Fringe, Cedric Daniels on The Wire). He’s tall and thin, with sharp features, he has a great voice, and when he wears his glasses he definitely makes me think of Mr. Ibis.
Mr. Jacquel: Idris Elba (Heimdall in Thor, DCI John Luther in Luther, Stringer Bell in The Wire). Tall, dignified, does the strong quiet types very well, and wears a black suit like a god, yes.
Easter: Christina Hendricks (Joan Harris on Mad Men, Saffron/Bridget/Yolanda on Firefly). Because she is perfect for it. Vivacious, curvaceous, and projecting inner strength.
Whiskey Jack: Byron Chief-Moon (Chief Floyd Two-Rivers in Health Nutz). Strong features, does dry humour very well.
Low-Key Lyesmith: Mickey Rourke. I don’t know, he just fits with my mental image of the watchful, thinking con man.
Mad Sweeney: Robert Carlyle (Mr. Gold/Rumpelstiltskin in Once Upon A Time, Dr. Nicholas Rush in Stargate: Universe). OK, he’s Scottish, not Irish, but he’s already used to supernatural characters, right?
Hinzelmann: Zach Grenier (David Lee in The Good Wife, Richard Chesler in Fight Club). He can deliver a line like nobody’s business, including the punch line to a shaggy dog story.
(My picks continue here.)
Other places where dream casting for the series has been discussed (I only checked them out after picking my own list but I see agreement on some key roles):