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In an Alternate Universe, Nicholas Cage Got Cast as Mr. Wednesday in the American Gods TV Adaptation

Nicholas Cage - Toronto International Film Festival 2011 1810

No, the inimitable Nicholas Cage is not going to be appearing in the upcoming TV adaptation of American Gods. No, he did not get cast as Mr. Wednesday, who will instead be played by Ian McShane. But apparently, Cage was offered the role first, and he turned it down. Whaaat.

In a recent interview with the LA Times, Nic Cage got asked about whether he’d ever consider “migrating to TV,” and he responded:

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…

It probably would be good for me globally as a career move to do television, and never say never — I probably will one day. But the idea of being stuck in one city for months on end playing a part — while that might be interesting, I could see where I might start to feel trapped.

I’m just still a little bit of a snob. I mean, I’m holding on. Again, I’m never going to say never but I’m, like, kicking and screaming that I just want to stay in movies.

So, basically, the only thing standing between us and the bizarre future that would have given us Nic Cage’s version of Mr. Wednesday is the fact that Cage is “a bit of a snob” (his words)! If the timing had been right, and if Cage had been in the mood to try TV, this seems like exactly the type of weird project that he would’ve said yes to doing.

I realize Nic Cage is an incredibly weird dude, and that he has played a whole lot of weird roles, but that seems like an asset in this case. Mr. Wednesday’s unusual, unnerving, hard-to-place strangeness sounds like something Cage could have pulled off. I have no doubt Ian McShane will play the role well, but I wouldn’t mind visiting the alternate universe where Nic Cage actually said yes to this one, just to see what it would have been like.

(via Nerdist, image via Marco Manna/Flickr)

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Maddy Myers, journalist and arts critic, has written for the Boston Phoenix, Paste Magazine, MIT Technology Review, and tons more. She is a host on a videogame podcast called Isometric (, and she plays the keytar in a band called the Robot Knights (