Neil Gaiman's American Gods to be TV Series on Starz

Cover of American Gods by Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman's American Gods is finally going to become a television series. After HBO eventually passed on the project after three unusable pilot scripts, it let go of its option. Fremantle Media North America and Starz stepped into the breach and the project is moving ahead. Bryan Fuller (Pushing Daisies, Heroes, Hannibal)will write the pilot script and Michael Green (Kings, The River) will be the showrunner. Neil will executive produce the show along with Green and Fuller.

Neil sounds pretty happy with the deal and had nothing but praise for his new collaborators. He says that the people at Fremantle are "the kind of people who have copies of American Gods in the bottom of their backpacks after going around the world, and who press them on their friends." That certainly sounds promising. As for the Starz team Neil says they have wanted to film the book since it came out.

A lot of people were disappointed when HBO eventually passed on the project. It wasn't for a lack of interest, however. Apparently, they just couldn't get a pilot script that they like. HBO's president of programming Michael Lombardo told Vulture that they knew the book would be a challenge to adapt for television (that's putting it mildly). He said, "...we couldn't craft the script as good as we needed it to be. ...The bar is high now for great dramas. And to find that bar -- we tried." He called it a "huge disappointment," saying they tried three different writers and none of them worked out. So that was the end of that. He sounded quite down about it, actually.

As for Fremantle and Starz, it's all roses and sunshine. Thom Beers, Fremantle's CEO, said, "Neil Gaiman's American Gods is pure genius and we couldn't be more thrilled to bring this classic to life on screen. Craig Cegielski and Stefanie Berk have put together a dream team with Fuller and Green joining Gaiman on this amazing journey. Coupled with Starz' shared passion for this project, we're confident this combination will raise the bar for drama."

Photo: HarperCollins

Posted on July 2, 2014

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