HBO Battles for Neil Gaiman’s American Gods

american gods - neil gaiman

HBO is currently in discussions to obtain the rights to Neil Gaiman’s novel American Gods, reports With plans to develop the work into a fantasy series for television, Oscar-winning cinematographer Robert Richardson brought the project to Playtone Productions’ partners Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman, who in turn brought it to HBO for consideration. If all goes well, Richardson and Gaiman would write the pilot together.

American Gods centers on Shadow, an ex-convict, who is released early from prison after the death of his wife. Once free, he agrees to accept a job offer from a persistent stranger named Mr. Wednesday. Acting simultaneously as Wednesday’s driver, errand boy, and aid, Shadow is drawn into a reality where myth intermingles with modern realities. He soon learns that Wednesday is not who he seems. Wednesday is roaming America on a quest to seek help from deities for what will be an epic battle between the ancient gods (brought to the U.S. by immigrants who believed in them, but weakened as beliefs waned) and modern gods of technology and marketing (a reflection of society’s current obsession with all things technologically advanced). Though Shadow doesn’t understand his role, he plays a major part in this battle, and not just as messenger.

Published in 2001, American Gods won the 2002 Hugo, Bram Stoker, Locus, and Nebula Awards. Naiman is probably best known for his comic series The Sandman, his novels Stardust and Coraline (both turned into films), and The Graveyard Book. He most recently wrote an episode of Doctor Who, titled “The Doctor’s Wife” that is slated to air in May. Richardson is known for The Aviator and JFK, for which he won Oscars, as well as for Kill Bill, Inglourious Basterds, and Shutter Island. His latest project, Hugo Cabret, is in post-production.

I can hear the science fiction fandom rejoicing! Are you a fan? How do you think Gaiman’s novel will translate to TV? Or is there another one of his works that you would prefer to see?