At 89, Cloris Leachman is still full of surprises. To wit: The sitcom legend has signed on to co-star in American Gods, Starz’ 10-episode adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s popular fantasy novel, which is being shepherded by Bryan Fuller and Michael Green.
The eight-time Emmy winner will play Zorya Vechernyaya, the eldest of three sisters who watch over the constellations, guarding against horrors forgotten by modern man. Once accustomed to royal status, the sisters have learned to survive on far less in a country that has no memory of them.
Also joining the ensemble are Peter Stormare (Fargo, Prison Break) as Slavic god of darkness and evil Czernobog, Chris Obi (Snow White and the Huntsman) as Egyptian god of the dead Anubis and Mousa Kraish (Parenthood) as mythical creature of the fire The Jinn.
American Gods follows a lonely ex-con named Shadow (played by The 100‘s Ricky Whittle) who takes a job as a bodyguard for the mysterious Mr. Wednesday (Deadwood‘s Ian McShane). As the two men travel the United States, Shadow becomes aware that a war is imminent between the country’s old gods (think: ancient mythology) and its new ones (think: modern technology) — and that his part in the proceedings has been predestined. And Mr. Wednesday? He’s one of the old gods.
The cast also includes Emily Browning (Sucker Punch) as Shadow’s wife Laura, Sean Harris (The Borgias) as leprechaun Mad Sweeney, Yetide Badaki as love goddess Bilquis, Bruce Langley as petulant god Technology Boy, Jonathan Tucker (Kingdom) as Shadow’s philosophical advisor Low-Key Lyesmith and Crispin Glover (Back to the Future) as seemingly omniscient Mr. World.
Production on American Gods Season 1 began earlier this week in Toronto. It’s slated to premiere in 2017.