Starz and FremantleMedia North America (FMNA) announced that Orlando Jones (“Madiba,” “Sleepy Hollow”) will play Mr. Nancy in the upcoming adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s acclaimed contemporary fantasy novel, American Gods.
Jones will play Mr. Nancy, the old African trickster god more commonly known as Anansi, and one of Mr. Wednesday’s (Ian McShane) oldest confidantes. Like Wednesday, Nancy is ready to bring this new America (and its new gods) to its knees, desperate to light a fire and watch the whole world burn.
In 2015, Jones co-founded the immersive content studio Legion of Creatives with former Disney executive Jay Williams and writer/producer Noam Dromi. The company is producing a wide range of multi-platform programs including the original series “High School 51”, created by Star Trek, Transformers, and Amazing Spiderman 2 writer/producer Roberto Orci.
Later this year he'll be seen in the independent feature film The Devil and The Deep Blue Sea as well as the film Tainted Love, based on the graphic novel-style action comedy, which he also wrote and produced. It's a first of its kind digital feature that is the launching pad for a unique narrative journey across multiple platforms.
Demore Barnes (“12 Monkeys”) has also been added to the cast as Mr. Ibis, the keeper of stories, past and present.
In the last two years Barnes has been juggling series regular and recurring roles on “Hemlock Grove” for Netflix, “Open Heart” for YTV and Nickelodeon as well as “12 Monkeys” for Syfy network. He had a 2 episode arc on “Defiance” for Syfy and a guest starring role on “The Flash” for the CW.
Jones and Barnes join previously announced stars Ricky Whittle (Shadow Moon), Ian McShane (Mr. Wednesday), Emily Browning (Laura Moon), Pablo Schreiber (Mad Sweeney), Yetide Badaki (Bilquis), Bruce Langley (Technical Boy), Crispin Glover (Mr. World), Jonathan Tucker (Low Key Lyesmith), Gillian Anderson (Media), Peter Stormare (Czernobog), and Cloris Leachman (Zorya Vechernyaya).
American Gods has 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 Presidents of Original Programming Marta Fernandez and Ken Segna are the Starz executives in charge of “American Gods.” Starz retains all network pay TV and SVOD rights to the project. FremantleMedia is distributing the series worldwide.
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