Orlando Jones has landed another big TV role. Just one season after leaving Fox's Sleepy Hollow, Starz has announced that the actor is joining the subscription cable network's upcoming small screen project American Gods, which is based on a book by Neil Gaiman and, like Hollow, will also mix present day plotlines with myths.
The casting report from stars indicates that Orlando Jones should have a sizable role in American Gods. In fact, he's set to play Mr. Nancy, who is actually an old African trickster god known as Anansi. The character was so likable in Neil Gaiman's original novel that the prolific author also wrote a follow-up to American Gods called Anansi Boys, about the children of Mr. Nancy and the path their lives take. In American Gods, Mr. Nancy is looking to take down the things that new Americans worship and is "desperate to light a fire and watch the whole world burn."
American Gods will actually follow a character named Shadow, played by The 100's Ricky Whittle, an ex-convict who gets stuck in the middle of a battle between the new gods (such as the internet and TV) and the old gods (like Anansi, Odin and Anubis). The show has been in development for a long, long time, but casting is finally well underway and the upcoming drama seems to be moving forward at a more rapid pace.
We're really excited to see Orlando Jones back on TV. The actor was always one of the better characters on Sleepy Hollow where he played Captain Irving, before being killed off, getting briefly resurrected and then leaving the series before Season 3. The whole character trajectory was pretty bizarre, and Orlando Jones later stated it was the network that asked him to step down from his gig, although his reduced screentime on the Fox series may have been a factor. Moving to a subscription cable show like Starz might actually be a greener pasture, in a lot of ways.
Of course, it will still be a little while before American Gods premieres on Starz. The show has already signed on an all-star cast including Ricky Whittle, but also Ian McShane, Emily Browning, Crispin Glover, Cloris Leachman, Gillian Anderson and Justified's Jonathan Tucker. Filming started a few months ago and is expected to continue until the fall, after which we should get new episodes on Starz in early 2017.
To find out what the subscription cable networks and networks have coming up before that, check out our summer TV premiere schedule.