Neil Gaiman’s ‘American Gods’ Gets Another Chance At TV
Back in 2011, an adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s novel, “American Gods” appeared to be set at HBO, with Gaiman co-writing the pilot alongside Robert Richardson with Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman's Playtone partners attached to produce the series.
For reasons that are not entirely clear, “American Gods’ did not go forward at HBO. However, Deadline is reporting that FremantleMedia North America has acquired the rights to “American Gods” with an eye towards bringing it to television.
Originally published in 2001, “American Gods” follows an ex-con named Shadow Moon who serves as a bodyguard for Mr. Wednesday, a mysterious man who is secretly one of the Gods from the older pantheons. Meanwhile, a looming conflict builds between the old Gods and a new breed of modern day Gods; whose forms and powers are dictated by humanity’s obsessions with celebrity, technology and drugs.
Gaiman is best known for his run on the DC Comics/Vertigo series, “Sandman” as well as several fantasy novels including “Coraline,” “The Graveyard Book” and “Good Omens.” Gaiman has also written for “Doctor Who” and “Babylon 5.”
The Deadline report doesn’t name any producers who are attached to “American Gods,” and it’s currently unknown if Gaiman will still be scripting the pilot episode. HBO would have been a promising home for “American Gods,” but there is a precedent for shows going on to great success after HBO let them go. “The Walking Dead” was almost an HBO series before it ultimately went to AMC and became a blockbuster hit.
FremantleMedia is currently producing “an adaptation of the French series, “The Returned” on A&E and “The Tomorrow People” on The CW.