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Neil Gaiman’s masterpiece novel American Gods is coming to the screen via a TV series on Starz, and as the author works tirelessly with show creators on its rebirth, the main character of Shadow Moon has been cast, and Ricky Whittle will tackle the lead role.
Shadow is an enigmatic and beloved character of the contemporary fantasy.
The character is a very tall and large man, of probable Native American heritage, and I say ‘probable’ because the entire book is about gods that have immigrated to America in search of new followings to thrive, or just to survive, in the modern world, and Shadow almost certainly has other blood running through his veins.
What makes Shadow so unique is his quiet nature.
The man is dealt a very bad hand in his life and his good nature and slow and quiet demeanor do not put a damper on his intelligence or his heavy sadness.
All of Shadow’s characteristics will make it difficult, to say the least, to portray on the screen.
At a reading from the 10th Anniversary American Gods: Author’s Preferred Text Edition Tour of the bestseller at the 92Y in Manhattan, Mr. Gaiman spoke of a friend that he had observed and had helped inspire such a profound character as Shadow.
On the casting Neil Gaiman said, “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.”
Mr. Gaiman has been integral in crafting the series with Starz, which is wise on the TV network’s part, to ensure the fluidity and the impactful nature of such an innovative work as American Gods comes sweeping across the page and onto the screen just as dramatically as the story does in the book.
Hopes are high, but with Mr. Gaiman steering the helm the prospects are very good, and this is exciting!
To read more about the American Gods novel, see my look at the Author’s Preferred Text edition on SciFiNow here: “Book Club reader review: American Gods by Neil Gaiman”
“Ricky Whittle Cast as Shadow for American Gods on Starz!” was written by R.J. Huneke; find the entire Starz press release below.
RICKY WHITTLE CAST AS SHADOW MOON IN STARZ AND FREMANTLEMEDIA’S “AMERICAN GODS”
The Up-and-Coming Actor Will Play Shadow Moon in the Adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s Blockbuster Fantasy Novel
Beverly Hills, Calif. (January 28, 2016) – Starz and FremantleMedia North America (FMNA) announced today that Ricky Whittle (“The 100,” “Austenland”) has been cast as Shadow Moon in the upcoming adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s acclaimed contemporary fantasy novel, American Gods. The series will begin shooting in April.
Neil Gaiman said, “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.”
Commented Bryan Fuller and Michael Green, “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.”
A native of Oldham, Greater Manchester England, Whittle’s credits include “The 100,” “Austenland,” “Hollyoaks,” “Mistresses,” “NCIS” and “Holby City.” Whittle is the son of former Royal Air Force serviceman Harry Whittle and grew up travelling around the world. A keen sportsman, Whittle represented England and the United Kingdom at youth level in football and rugby.
American Gods been translated into over 30 languages and earned numerous accolades including Hugo, Nebula and Bram Stoker Awards for Best Novel. The plot posits a war brewing between old and new gods: the traditional gods of mythological roots from around the world steadily losing believers to an upstart pantheon of gods reflecting society’s modern love of money, technology, media, celebrity and drugs. Its protagonist, Shadow Moon, is an ex-con who becomes bodyguard and traveling partner to Mr. Wednesday, a conman but in reality one of the older gods, on a cross-country mission to gather his forces in preparation to battle the new deities.
“American Gods” is produced by FremantleMedia North America. Bryan Fuller (“Hannibal,” “Pushing Daisies,” “Heroes”) and Michael Green (“The River,” “Kings,” “Heroes”) are writers and showrunners. David Slade (“Hannibal,” “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse”) is directing the pilot and additional episodes. FMNA’s Craig Cegielski and Stefanie Berk are executive producing the series along with Fuller, Green, Slade and Neil Gaiman. Senior Vice President of Original Programming Ken Segna is the Starz executive in charge of “American Gods.” Starz retains all network pay TV and SVOD rights to the project. FremantleMedia is distributing the series worldwide.
Ricky Whittle is represented by TalentWorks, Creative Artists Management in the UK, and Untitled Entertainment.
Fans can tweet @AmericanGodsSTZ, @STARZ_Channel and @FMNATV and join the conversation with #AmericanGods.
Starz (NASDAQ: STRZA, STRZB) is a leading integrated global media and entertainment company with operating units that provide premium subscription video programming on domestic U.S. pay television channels (Starz Networks) and global content distribution (Starz Distribution), www.starz.com.
Starz Networks is a leading provider of premium subscription video programming through the flagship STARZ® and ENCORE® pay TV networks which showcase premium original programming and movies to U.S. multichannel video distributors, including cable operators, satellite television providers, and telecommunications companies. As of September 30, 2015, STARZ and ENCORE serve a combined 55.8 million subscribers, including 23.3 million at STARZ, and 32.5 million at ENCORE, making them the largest pair of premium flagship channels in the U.S. STARZ® and ENCORE®, along with Starz Networks' third network MOVIEPLEX®, air more than 1,000 movies monthly across 17 linear networks, complemented by On Demand and authenticated online offerings through STARZ PLAY, ENCORE PLAY, and MOVIEPLEX PLAY. Starz Distribution develops, produces and acquires entertainment content, distributing it to consumers globally on DVD, digital formats and traditional television. Starz Distribution's home video, digital media and worldwide distribution business units distribute original programming content produced by Starz, as well as entertainment content for itself and third parties.
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We have the un-redacted file containing the entire 1st minute of Sunday's THE X-FILES return, as Mulder and Scully return to the screen thirteen years after we last saw them.
And what an ending that series finale was! SPOILER ALERT (from original series)**
The last time we see the FBI agents and paranormal experts they are in a state of despair, as Mulder escapes life imprisonment but only to face an impending and irreversible alien invasion with Scully, presumably on the run. Their love for themselves and their friends love for them and their cause - to reveal the government's involvement in the most heinous of conspiracies - led to a dramatic breakout following the lopsided trial that declared Mulder guilty. This brings Skinner and Reyes and many of their comrades together to free Mulder before he is locked away forever.
We are left with the world's END GAME, the date of the invasion, in the year 2012. SPOILER ALERT ENDS***
What has happened to them since?
Clearly the world has gone on and the former FBI agents are still alive in it.
The supernatural elements will not have rested, but have the aliens? Fans have been clamoring for more of The X-Files story ever since the fantastic second movie gave us a great episode on the silver screen, but did nothing to reveal what happened after show creator Chris Carter's riveting series finale.
The storyline, the canon, has innumerable possibilities for the future, and we have just a taste of that in the upcoming six episode X-Files EVENT. Stay tuned after the playoff game Sunday night for the first in the two night series premiere!
The truth is still out there!
A great article about the show's history, old and new, and the dynamic of the lead characters from the Times, "‘The X-Files’: David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson Return to the Paranormal Beat" quotes the brilliant Anderson who plays Scully:
Ms. Anderson, who admits she wasn’t really conscious of the series’s cultural impact while she was working on it, now appreciates Scully in ways she never could before. “There’s a certain quality to the respect and the love that people have for the series and us deciding to do it again,” she said. “It’s different I think than if we’d just done another ‘X-Files’ film. Because people’s relationship with TV is different. There’s such a positivity to it. And a purity. It’s almost like people have been told there’s going to be a second Christmas. And I kind of feel the same way.”
CALLING ALL X-PHILES…
13 YEARS AFTER THE ORIGINAL SERIES RUN, THE TRUTH IS STILL OUT THERE…
LOG ON TO WWW.DOYOUSTILLBELIEVE.COM AND WATCH THE FIRST MINUTE OF THE ALL-NEW EVENT SERIES “THE X-FILES,” TO LEARN WHAT MULDER BELIEVES ABOUT THE GOVERNMENT’S INVOLVEMENT WITH THE X-FILES…
Share what YOU believe, using #TheXFiles,
and find out what everyone else is saying.
Also, don’t forget to download a photo of yourself with #TheXFiles…
And you’ll get back proof of your solidarity with Mulder…
which you can share on all your social networks!
Two-Night Season Premiere of THE X-FILES:
Sunday, Jan. 24, 2016, 10:00-11:00 PM ET/7:00-8:00 PM PT,
following the NFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME;
Monday, Jan. 25, 2016, 8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT
OFFICIAL “THE X-FILES” FACEBOOK: thexfilesonfox
OFFICIAL “THE X-FILES” TWITTER: @thexfiles
OFFICIAL “THE X-FILES” INSTAGRAM:@thexfilesFOX
JOIN THE DISCUSSION: #TheXFiles
"Watch the 1st Minute of Sunday's THE X-FILES Return" was written by R.J. Huneke.
R.J. Huneke has spent years researching for his latest sci-fi thriller Cyberwar. A longtime writer and columnist, Huneke has interviewed cyber security professionals, carefully examined advances in science (including robotics and artificial intelligence) and compiled modern day speculations on technology and spun them into an electrifying journey into a dystopian society dominated by cybernetic hackers.
His extensive knowledge on cyber warfare, robotics, and political protest, as well as his strong female protagonist are what set the riveting story apart.
The book from Pentian, an imprint of Lantia, is in stores! Get it in hardcover, as well as softcover, and eBook (Kindle, Nook,iBooks) wherever books are sold.