"Hannibal" fans were hoping that NBC, Amazon, anyone really, would save the cult series after NBC canceled it after three lackluster rated seasons. That has not happened. However, creator Bryan Fuller has not missed a beat. In fact, Thursday Starz announced that it had cast the lead in Fuller's upcoming fantasy series "American Gods."
According to a Starz press release, actor Ricky Whittle, best known for his roles as Lincoln on "The 100" and Daniel Zamora on "Mistresses," will take on the lead role in "American Gods." The show, based off Gaiman's book, tells the story of Shadow Moon, an ex-convict who is released from prison after the deaths of his ex-wife and best friend. He takes a job as a bodyguard for a mysterious con man named Mr. Wednesday, placing himself in the middle of a war between two different sets of gods. Whittle will play Shadow Moon when the series begins filming in April. A premiere date has not yet been announced.
The actor took to Twitter to express his excitement about joining the show's cast, thanking Fuller and Gaiman specifically.
— Ricky Whittle (@MrRickyWhittle) January 28, 2016
Fuller and Gaiman were also quick to sing Whittle's praises.
— Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself) January 28, 2016
“We searched every continent and country and all the islands in between for our Shadow Moon, and we are lucky to have found Ricky," said Fuller in the press release. " Fans of the novel will find he has every bit of the heart of the character they fell in love with.”
For Fuller, "American Gods" means parting ways with "Hannibal," which ran for three seasons on NBC despite its violent subject matter and surreal storytelling style. In fact, in August Fuller explained that his commitment to "American Gods" was an obstacle in getting the show picked up by a new distributor for a potential Season 4. The producer was not willing to put off the Starz project to dive back into the cannibal chaos of his former show.
“The question for the potential new distribution partner is how comfortable they are in waiting,” Fuller told Deadline Hollywood at the height of the "Hannibal" cancelation controversy. “I do have an obligation to 'American Gods' and a passion for 'American Gods,' so I absolutely want to service that in the way that it needs to be serviced.”
Well, Fuller took a big step forward in that regard by casting Whittle Thursday. Now only time will tell if Fuller's loyal "Fannibals" will follow him to Starz for the new series.