After being stuck in development hell for years (most recently at HBO), an adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s American Gods is one step closer to becoming a reality.
Starz has handed out a straight-to-series order to the project, which has been developed by Hannibal‘s Bryan Fuller and Michael Green (The River). The series order, the size of which has not been officially set, is cast contingent, with the start of production dependent on casting the lead role of Shadow Moon.
Originally published in 2001, American Gods tells the story of a war brewing between old and new gods: the traditional gods of biblical and mythological roots from around the world steadily losing believers to an upstart pantheon of gods reflecting society’s modern love of money, technology, media, celebrity and drugs. Its protagonist, Shadow Moon, is an ex-con who becomes bodyguard and traveling partner to Mr. Wednesday, a conman but in reality one of the older gods, on a cross-country mission to gather his forces in preparation to battle the new deities.
Bryan Fuller, whose NBC series Hannibal is in danger of being cancelled, is penning the scripts for the series alongside Michael Green. The duo will serve as co-showrunners on the fantasy series and will executive produce alongside original author Neil Gaiman, whose numerous television credits include Doctor Who and Babylon 5. FremantleMedia North America is producing. Starz retains domestic pay and SVOD rights, while FremantleMedia International will handle global distribution.
“I am thrilled, scared, delighted, nervous and a ball of glorious anticipation. The team that is going to bring the world of American Gods to the screen has been assembled like the master criminals in a caper movie: I’m relieved and confident that my baby is in good hands”, said Gaiman. “Now we finally move to the exciting business that fans have been doing for the last dozen years: casting our Shadow, our Wednesday, our Laura…”
“Starz is committed to bring American Gods to its legions of fans”, commented Starz CEO Chris Albrecht. “With our partners at FremantleMedia and with Bryan, Michael and Neil guiding the project, we hope to create a series that honors the book and does right by the fans, who have been casting it in their minds for years. The search for Shadow begins today!”
While showrunners and executive producers Bryan Fuller and Michael Green added: “Almost 15 years ago, Neil Gaiman filled a toy box with gods and magic and we are thrilled to finally crack it open and play. We’re grateful to have Starz above us and FremantleMedia at our backs as we appease the gods, American or otherwise.”