It’s been a long wait for fans of Neil Gaiman adaptation American Gods, but season three is finally on the way with a tantalising new trailer teasing all the action in store.
A lot has changed for Shadow Moon since we saw him leaving Cairo in the season two finale, with the upcoming episodes revealing he’s started a secret new life away from Mr Wednesday.
But of course, it’s only a matter of time before he’s found out and reeled back into the war between old gods and their new counterparts, inspired by the likes of technology and media.
The insane trailer teases an awakening for Shadow Moon, as he boldly proclaims in the closing moments that he is a god, but what exactly brings him to this realisation remains to be seen.
We also catch a glimpse of some of the new cast members in action, including Shrill star Julia Sweeney as Hinzelmann, an antagonistic local in the sleepy town of Lakeside, Wisconsin.
Here’s everything we know so far about American Gods season three, including cast, trailer and release date news.
When is American Gods season 3’s release date?
Starz and Amazon Prime Video have not yet confirmed an exact air date, but the latest trailer promises that we’ll be seeing new episodes in “early 2021”.
RadioTimes.com predicts American Gods will return in the first quarter of the year, with a release date in late February/early March seeming quite likely.
This would place season three in roughly the same timeframe as its predecessor, which premiered on the streaming service on 10th March 2019.
Who’s in the cast for American Gods season three?
Several members of the main cast are expected to return, including Ricky Whittle (Shadow Moon), Ian McShane (Odin/Mr Wednesday), Emily Browning (Laura Moon), and Crispin Glover (Mr World).
In addition, musician Marilyn Manson has now joined the cast as a new character, a “Nordic death metal frontman” named Johan Wengren who has ties to Ian Mcshane’s Wednesday through his “Viking metal band” Blood Death.
“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,” showrunner Chic Eglee said.
Manson is expected to appear in four episodes of the third season.
More recently, Neil Gaiman also confirmed that veteran actress Blythe Danner will appear across four episodes in the new series as Demeter, the Greek goddess of the harvest with an “unresolved romantic history” with Mr Wednesday and a bit of a problem – her involuntary commitment to a mental institution.
“It is a rare privilege to be working with Ms. Blythe Danner, a dear friend, inspiration and national treasure,” said executive producer and showrunner Chic Eglee.
“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.”
The trailer shown at New York Comic-Con (more on that below) has also offered our first glimpse at two other new additions: Game of Thrones star Iwan Rheon as leprechaun Leon Doyle and Machete actor Danny Trejo as a new incarnation of Mr World.
However, some of the original stars won’t be returning for the third run, including Orlando Jones, who played Mr. Nancy on the show, because his character does not appear in the section of Gaiman’s book that is being covered in series three.
Jones was evidently not happy with this choice, describing it as “spiteful” and “insanely hurtful” in an interview with TVLine.
— Orlando Jones (@TheOrlandoJones) December 14, 2019
Neil Gaiman has since clarified that the cast members not returning for season three have not been “fired”, and that there are plans to bring them back in a prospective fourth season.
He told Digital Spy: “I think there was a lot of confusion and I think it probably could have been handled much better, and that’s including communicating with the cast over what was happening in this season, and what’s going to be happening in season four.
“I’ll put it this way: there are a lot of actors who seem to think that they’ve been fired because they weren’t in season three, and you’re sort of going, ‘You’re not in this season because stuff is happening in the season that you’re not in. That doesn’t mean you’re not coming back.”
Joining Jones in leaving the cast is Mousa Kraish, who played Jinn in the opening two series. He posted the news on Twitter, claiming it had been an honour to play the character and that he was “humbled & grateful for this wonderful community”.
What has Neil Gaiman revealed about American Gods season three?
Neil Gaiman hasn’t said a great deal so far about what we can expect in the third instalment of the show, but the author has spoken out about the appointment of Charles “Chic” Eglee (The Walking Dead) as the series’ new showrunner.
“I’m thrilled American Gods has been renewed for a third season, and even more thrilled that I’m getting to work on it with Chic Eglee,” he said in a statement.
“Chic is the best partner-in-crime. We’ve been working for weeks now on the shape of the season and I’m delighted that he gets to carry the American Gods torch on to glory.”
He’s also revealed that some of the series will take place at Lakeside, a mysterious location referenced in the books where Shadow Moon hides out for a period of time.
Season Three of AMERICAN GODS takes us to Lakeside. https://t.co/Up2Ul6ApG9
— Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself) April 16, 2019
Is there an American Gods season three trailer?
There certainly is and it doesn’t disappoint.
The trailer was revealed at New York Comic-Con and sees Shadow Moon hiding out in a sleepy town by the name of Lakeside, which will be instantly familiar to fans of Gaiman’s novel.
Much of the trailer focuses on the troubled relationship between Shadow and Mr Wednesday, before introducing some of the key players in the upcoming season, including Game of Thrones star Iwan Rheon and the legendary Danny Trejo.
Check out the trailer below:
Why were there issues filming American Gods season two?
Despite a critically acclaimed and popular first season, American Gods has encountered a rocky couple of years, facing a series of tumultuous, behind-the-scenes issues during the run-up to season two.
The original showrunners Bryan Fuller and Michael Green were already part way through writing season two when they dramatically left the production in 2017, as did Sex Education actress Gillian Anderson, who played Media. New showrunner Jesse Alexander was brought in as their replacement, but he too stepped aside in September 2018.
The drama finally made it to our screens in March 2019 – but the second season was still a bit of a critical let down, not garnering the same praise as season one.
Fingers crossed the third season resurrects some of the show’s original charm… But for now we have to keep on waiting!
American Gods returns to Amazon Prime Video in 2021. While you’re waiting, visit our TV Guide to see what’s on tonight, or check out our guide to new TV shows 2020 to find out what’s airing this autumn and beyond.