For a show about the growing war between the old gods and news gods, you would think fans wouldn't be too thrilled with things being "quiet" or "dull" or "boring" – but STARZ's American Gods had a bit of a bumpy ride heading into its second season. But after a return that gave the series a gritty, ensemble feel – with a season finale that literally (no joke) had us on the edge of our seats (even though we generally knew how it was going to end) – things are looking good heading into production on Season 3 (more on that below).
When the new and old gods return to continue waging their war, viewers will have a new god with a familiar face to welcome. Emmy winner Blythe Danner (Will & Grace, The Tomorrow Man) is set to join the Neil Gaiman adaptation for a four-episode arc.
"It is a rare privilege to be working with Ms. Blythe Danner, a dear friend, inspiration and national treasure. She is our muse in crafting the role of Demeter, since no one else can bring such ethereal beauty and grace to the portrayal of a goddess."
– Chic Eglee, showrunner/executive producer
According to the cabler, American Gods season 3 follows Shadow (Ricky Whittle) as he attempts to break away and assert himself as his own man, setting down roots in the idyllic snowy town of Lakeside, WI, where he'll uncover a dark secret while exploring questions of his own divinity. Guided on this spiritual journey by the gods of his black ancestors, the Orishas, Shadow must decide exactly who he is: a god seeking veneration or a man in service of the "we."
Danner's Demeter is the Greek goddess of the harvest – and a god with an unresolved romantic history with Mr. Wednesday (Ian McShane). As if that isn't enough of a hurdle to challenege even Odin, there's one more glitch in the plan: Demeter was involuntary committed to a mental institution.
Just how good are things looking for the series' return? Well, don't take it from us – take it from Whittle, who took time out from promoting the blu-ray+digital release of American Gods season 2 (which you can purchase here) to offer his thoughts to Bleeding Cool on what fans can expect:
Confirming that he begins work on the series at the end of September, Whittle discusses the "incredible stories" being told in the episode scripts he's seen so far, observing the Writers' Room, how this season's Shadow will be different from the man we've seen so far, and why he stands behind this line: "For me, season 3 is going to be – by far – the best season yet."
Rockstar/actor Marilyn Manson (Sons of Anarchy) will be joining the new and old gods for the third season in a four-episode stint. Manson is set to play Johan Wengren, the bloodthirsty front man for Viking death metal band Blood Death. Wengren and the band play an important role in Mr. Wednesday's war against the new gods.
— American Gods US (@americangodsus) September 17, 2019
"As a long-time admirer of his estimable talent as an author, artist, musician, and actor, it is dope indeed to be working with Mr. Manson in Season 3 of American Gods. Bringing his specific energy, wit, and boundless enthusiasm for all-things-Neil-Gaiman to the role of Johan, a Norse 'berserker' in service to Odin, his performance promises to be disturbing, original, and uniquely entertaining."
– Chic Eglee, Showrunner
Speaking during the cable network's Television Critics Association (TCA) press event at the end of July, STARZ COO Jeffrey Hirsch proved he was also on board the American Gods "love train," noting that scripts for the upcoming season of the Neil Gaiman adaptation were already coming in and that new showrunner Charles "Chic" Eglee (The Walking Dead) was already making his mark on the series:
"Chic is doing a tremendous job on Season 3. We are feeling good about it. What I can speak to is that Season 3, based on what he is bringing to the table with scripts, it's coming on really well. I think anytime you bring on a new showrunner they bring on their own experience and that's what we're seeing."
We were forged in God's image, but the Gods are also made in ours — and in Season Two the battle moves inexorably toward crisis point as the destinies of gods and men collide. While Mr. World plots revenge for the attack against him in Season One, Shadow throws in his lot with Wednesday's attempt to convince the Old Gods of the case for full-out war, with Laura and Mad Sweeney in tow.
A council at the House on the Rock explodes into chaos, sending deities both Old and New on quests across America that will converge on Cairo, Illinois: forcing Shadow to carve out a place as a believer in this strange new world of living gods — a dark world where change demands commitment, and faith requires terrible sacrifice.
American Gods stars Ricky Whittle, Ian McShane, Emily Browning, Pablo Schreiber, Crispin Glover, Yetide Badaki, Bruce Langley, Mousa Kraish, Omid Abtahi, Demore Barnes, Peter Stormare, Sakina Jaffrey, Dean Winters, Devery Jacobs, Kahyun Kim, Derek Theler, Laura Bell Bundy, and Christian Lloyd.