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HBO Developing Series Based on Neil Gaiman's American Gods

| 15 Apr 2011 19:25
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The series based on Gaiman's 2001 novel would showcase his new pantheon of deities based on American culture.

The details are scarce, but HBO is currently in talks to write and film a pilot for a new fantasy series. Interestingly, the series would be produced by Playtone - the outfit of Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman who made Big Love and Band of Brothers. Gaiman first gained notoriety as a comic book writer with his Sandman series in the late eighties but he's since branched into writing novels, short stories and movies (Beowulf). Gaiman's works are no stranger to adaptation as his novella Coraline become the 2009 animated film and his Graveyard Book is also tapped to be a feature film. No one knows who would write the script for American Gods or when production would begin, but it seems that HBO is becoming more interested in genre content with the success of True Blood and the imminent Game of Thrones.

The main character in American Gods is an ex-convict called Shadow, who starts working as a bodyguard for a mysterious con-man named Mr. Wednesday. As Wednesday travels across the United States meeting with strange people, Shadow eventually figures out that his employer is an incarnation of the Norse god Odin and that he is recruiting other mythological figures whose power has diminished to fight a war against new American "deities" such as the Internet, media, and mass transportation.

There is a lot of twists and turns in the plot, none of which I'm going to reveal here, but American Gods is mostly a road story so it would fit nicely into an episodic TV series. I was a little disappointed with the third act of the book, it just didn't deliver on the oomph that the awesome premise set up, so maybe a TV series will do the story justice.

Then again, sci-fi or fantasy stories don't really have a great track record of good endings in episodic TV. (I'm looking at you, Lost and BSG.)

Source: Hollywood Reporter

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