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Frances McDormand Will Star as God in ‘Good Omens’

Frances McDormand will play the voice of God in Amazon’s upcoming drama series “Good Omens.”

Executive producer Neil Gaiman announced the casting Friday during a panel featuring showrunners for several Amazon Studios series and moderated by Variety executive editor Debra Birnbaum. Gaiman called it “the strangest way” he had ever cast anyone.

“We knew God would be a woman,” Gaiman said. “We were talking about great American actresses, because we wanted her to have an American voice. And out the blue one day I got an email from Frances McDormand asking to borrow my house in Scotland.”

Gaiman, whose novel “Good Omens,” co-written with Terry Pratchett, said that in adapting the book to series, “The biggest challenge for me was the absence of Terry Pratchett from this world.”

Carlton Cuse, executive producer of “Jack Ryan,” revealed that Noomi Rapace has been cast in season two of the action drama, which is currently shooting in Columbia.

Ben Edlund, executive producer of “The Tick,” said that season two of his series would feature the Tick and his sidekick Arthur become involved in “a Homeland Securtiy-type organization.” He added, “We’ll have a lot of new characters and have a lot of fun as the Tick and Arthur drill down and become the city’s new heroes.”

Naren Shankar, executive producer of “The Expanse,” said that he found out that Amazon had picked the show up for a fourth season after Syfy canceled it while attending a dinner at which Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos was speaking. “In the banquet he announced that he picked up the show,” Shankar said. “We were all surprised. It was a stunned experience.”

Sam Esmail, executive producer of “Homecoming,” said that he was at first reluctant to take on the adaptation of the popular podcast, but warmed to the idea after thinking of ways to bring it to life visually. He announced that the series, starring Julia Roberts, will premiere Nov. 2.

Gale Anne Hurd also teased the second season of horror anthology “Lore,” on which she serves as exec producer.

“It is scarier,” Hurd said of the second season. “What is remarkable is these stories are really true. These stories happened. And this season we get to spend more time with the people that they happened to.”

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