When I read the book, I imagined Mr. Wednesday looking quite different from Ian McShane, the actor who plays him in the TV episodes - more wolf-like, leaner, a tad smoother, suave-like, sort of. McShane to me brings out more of the con man in Wednesday, rather than the grim old god so far (only seen the first episodes).

Still, I very much like McShane in the role, however, I am interested in whether there were any other serious contenders for the role and who they were?

I only was able to find that Nicholas Cage was considered, and from what I have seen of Cage, I would agree that McShane is a far greater fit for the role (and possibly a greater actor, but that is of course, even more open to different opinion).

  • You should see how he's portrayed in the comic adaptation: images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/S/cmx-images-prod/Item/… Commented Aug 7, 2017 at 20:14
  • Fun fact: McShane was first asked to play Czernobog. Commented Aug 7, 2017 at 20:16
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    Wednesday was also apparently inspired by Rip Torn. Commented Aug 7, 2017 at 20:32
  • Thanks. I was trying to think of whom I was picturing as more Mr.Wednesday from my imagination and after giving it some thought I now think I had in mind someone like Michael Douglas (as of Wall Street 2) with a touch of Christopher Walken.
    – Gnudiff
    Commented Aug 7, 2017 at 21:27
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    I'm curious why this is attracting close votes as primarily opinion based. If the close voters could leave a comment, I'd be curious in knowing what your reasoning is.
    – Mithical
    Commented Nov 15, 2017 at 16:22

1 Answer 1


Cage claimed to have been more than just seriously considered. He says the offered him the part, but he turned it down. In to this L.A. Times interview, Cage said:

You know, it's a good point and I've been invited many times to go on a show, one of which was on Neil Gaiman's “American Gods” to play Mr. Wednesday, which was a great part, beautifully written. And I said no.

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