Neil Gaiman's American Gods and Anansi Boys Headed to TV

Neil Gaiman's American Gods and Anansi Boys Headed to TV

Neil Gaiman American Gods book cover

Freemantle Media is adapting Neil Gaiman's novel American Gods for television.

Neil Gaiman announced yesterday that two of his novels were receiving TV adaptations. Freemantle Media will adapt American Gods as a TV series, and RED will adapt Anansi Boys into a TV miniseries for BBC.

American Gods was originally going to be adapted for TV by HBO, as it had an option for American Gods for years, even going through three pilot scripts. However, HBO has only so many slots and eventually passed it along to Cinemax (within HBO), which then decided to pass on it. Tom Hanks' production company Playtone was going to work with Gaiman for the TV adaptation, but the company is exclusive to HBO. Recently Stefanie Burk, who worked for Playtone, moved to Freemantle Media and was determined to bring American Gods to screens, Gaiman said. He will also be an executive producer to the series.

"As to where you will be able to see it, who is going to be in it, who will be writing or show-running, none of these things have yet been settled," he said. "But it already looks like it's going to be a smoother run developing it than it had at HBO, so I am very pleased."

The premise of American Gods is that gods and mythological creatures exist because people believe in them. However, the strength of their power corresponds to the strength of people's beliefs. Now that people's beliefs have waned, these gods' powers have weakened, and new gods have arisen to reflect people's obsession of media, celebrity, technology, and drugs.

Gaiman also has very little news about RED's adaptation of Anansi Boys, and RED has not formally announced this. Anansi Boys is a story of two brothers who discover each other and explore their heritage after their father's death. Their father was an incarnation of the spider god, Anansi, but one of the sons had not inherited any powers as the father's powers had passed down to the other son.

Gaiman, who also created the Sandman comic series, said he is "really thrilled" about the TV adaptations of both novels. "Freemantle has the harder task, as they are going to have to open up American Gods into something bigger than the book," he said. "Red are just going to have to make an absolutely brilliant faithful version of Anansi Boys."

Source: CBR, Neil Gaiman

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Question - will these two cross over at any point (universe wise) despite being on separate channels? I ask because the way I understand it, Anansi boys was effectively a follow-on (though not a direct sequel, as Neil Gaiman has stated he doesn't do those) to American Gods, sharing a universe and theme. That being said, it could possibly be argued most, if not all, of Gaiman's work is set in the same kind of shared universe (particularly looking at the supernatural elements of things like Neverwhere), so my question may be moot.

At any rate, highly looking forward to these. As long as Gaiman is directly involved they can't go wrong. All we need now is more info on the Sandman adaptation Gaiman and Joseph Gordon-Levitt are doing (release dates, script details, etc.) and more info on Rhianna Pratchett's 'The Watch' TV series and that'll be my TV year set! (at least until we get a new Doctor Who series air date...)

This is quite nice to hear.

Although, I have a concern about actors that will be picked. If they are going to pick a white guy to play Shadow, I'll have to, pardon my French, choke'a'bitch.

Loss of HBO means likely omission of Bilquis. Even if it isn't major thing, I still want to see that.

Yes, YES. THIS PLEASES ME.

Although yeah, Bilquis will probably be too out there for most networks to actually put on screen.

Trivun:
Question - will these two cross over at any point (universe wise) despite being on separate channels? I ask because the way I understand it, Anansi boys was effectively a follow-on (though not a direct sequel, as Neil Gaiman has stated he doesn't do those) to American Gods, sharing a universe and theme. That being said, it could possibly be argued most, if not all, of Gaiman's work is set in the same kind of shared universe (particularly looking at the supernatural elements of things like Neverwhere), so my question may be moot.

At any rate, highly looking forward to these. As long as Gaiman is directly involved they can't go wrong. All we need now is more info on the Sandman adaptation Gaiman and Joseph Gordon-Levitt are doing (release dates, script details, etc.) and more info on Rihanna Pratchett's 'The Watch' TV series and that'll be my TV year set! (at least until we get a new Doctor Who series air date...)

In 2012 Gaiman said he has started on a sequel to American gods but nothing has been said since then. If it exists then I suspect that it will come out at the same as the TV series. Anansi boys has a single character in common with American Gods but the tone is very different. Anansi boys will be made on a different continent from American gods and also will have a fraction of the budget. In reality, though the works are related, practicalities means that they will be entirely separate.

Auberon:
Loss of HBO means likely omission of Bilquis. Even if it isn't major thing, I still want to see that.

I don't think even HBO would put on the full details of that sub plot

This is great news. I literally can't wait to see how these are adapted to television. It would have been cool if American Gods was on HBO because you wouldn't have to fret about the more adult content, but I'll take this over nothing at all.

Interesting. I want to see this turn out well for Neil, as those are two of my favorite works by him that are non-comic properties. The other I'd love to see a faithful movie adaptation (which may never happen) is his and Terry Pratchett's Good Omens. Absolutely awesome novel, hilarious and odd.

Captcha: Oh well...

Are you trying to tell me something Lord Inglip?

The thing about that is...Neil didn't like how Neverwhere turned out, so I hope he's more satisfied when this gets off the ground. Also, obviously looking forward to it.

A shame it is on TV. That means you likely won't see the little sub plot with Bilquis. That would be pretty freaky to see done in live action.

So American Gods is not going to be on HBO. Or the BBC.

What channel is it going to air on? From what I can tell (from the Wikipedia page) Freemantle Media isn't actually a station but a production company. Thus... yeah, where is this thing going to air? Or has that not been determined yet?

Was there a Sandman movie also in the works?

Mister K:
This is quite nice to hear.

Although, I have a concern about actors that will be picked. If they are going to pick a white guy to play Shadow, I'll have to, pardon my French, choke'a'bitch.

Uhm, did you get to the end of the book?

Seth Carter:

Mister K:
This is quite nice to hear.

Although, I have a concern about actors that will be picked. If they are going to pick a white guy to play Shadow, I'll have to, pardon my French, choke'a'bitch.

Uhm, did you get to the end of the book?

He's described in the book as being "coffee with a bit of cream" or something like that. So while not really dark black, he's hardly white. I think he gets it from his mother, who I can't remember any description other than "not [his father's] usual type"

Pallindromemordnillap:

Seth Carter:

Mister K:
This is quite nice to hear.

Although, I have a concern about actors that will be picked. If they are going to pick a white guy to play Shadow, I'll have to, pardon my French, choke'a'bitch.

Uhm, did you get to the end of the book?

He's described in the book as being "coffee with a bit of cream" or something like that. So while not really dark black, he's hardly white. I think he gets it from his mother, who I can't remember any description other than "not [his father's] usual type"

He's specified as being mixed race as I understand it.

Considering Gaiman flat out nixed an adaptation of Anansi Boys where they wanted to make everybody white (seriously), I think its fair to say Neil be doing his best to preserve shadows ethnicity.

Even if the series suck it still good because it gave me a reason to read the books again.

Seth Carter:

Mister K:
This is quite nice to hear.

Although, I have a concern about actors that will be picked. If they are going to pick a white guy to play Shadow, I'll have to, pardon my French, choke'a'bitch.

Uhm, did you get to the end of the book?

And in the beginning the cop asks him "Who are you? Native American?" Or something, because he has quite not-white skin. If anything, he is a mullato.

 

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