Gillian Anderson to Play a Shape-Shifting Celebrity Deity in Starz’s ‘American Gods’ Series

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Gillian Anderson’s TV career is seriously on a roll lately. With her recent role on Hannibal, the less impressive (but very buzzed nonetheless) return of The X-Files, and another season of The Fall very much on the horizon (airing “later in 2016”) — not to mention her starring role in the Young Vic’s A Streetcar Named Desire — that’d be plenty to substantiate the claim of “being on a roll.” But it’s also just been announced by Deadline that Anderson is joining Starz’s series adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s widely acclaimed work of contemporary fantasy, American Gods.

The premise of American Gods is as it sounds — there are Gods. In America. There are both old mythological Gods brought over with the various people who emigrated to the country, and then are the “New Gods,” who’re borne of contemporary American obsessions like tech, drugs, celebrity, and media. The two forms of God happen to not get along, and a war seems imminent. Anderson will be playing the character Media, among the New Gods, who is a televisual God that, in the book, first appears as Lucy (of I Love) and shape-shifts from there. Deadline describes her as the New Gods’ “public face and sales representative,” noting that likewise in the series she assumes the form of various iconic TV figures, and lives off of the time people devote to their screens.

As was previously announced, the show will star Deadwood‘s Ian McShane as Mr. Wednesday (a version of the Norse God Odin), and Ricky Whittle as Shadow Moon, the ex-con-turned-Mr. Wednesday’s helper, as Mr. Wednesday recruits the old American Gods to battle their new usurpers.

The series was created by Bryan Fuller (who also created Hannibal) and Michael Green.