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September 2, 2015

HBO Greenlights Tom Hanks' and Neil Gaiman's 'American Gods' TV Series

by Catherine Lawson, posted Jun 15th 2011 4:40AM
Neil GaimanGreat news for Neil Gaiman fans! It's been announced that HBO and Tom Hanks' production company, Playtone Productions, are going ahead with their ambitious TV take on Gaiman's bestselling novel, 'American Gods.'

According to 'The Hollywood Reporter' the new drama is slated for six seasons, with the first season due to air sometime in 2013. Each season will be comprised of 10 to 12 hour-long episodes, with a budget of around $35-40 million per season.

Steeped in religious folklore from ancient times to the 21st century, 'American Gods' will be executive-produced by Gary Goetzman and Hanks, with Bob Richardson and Gaiman onboard as executive producer and writer.

Producers promise that it will be effects-heavy to do justice to the awe-inspiring power of the divine beings involved. "There are some crazy things in there," said Goetzman. "We'll probably be doing more effects in there than it's been done on a television series."

The Hugo and Nebula Award-winning novel 'American Gods' was first published in 2001, and is based on the central premise "Are you a god if no one believes in you?" Exploring the idea that gods and mythological creatures exist only because people believe in them, and that immigrants populated the U.S. with elves, leprechauns and other spirits and gods from their Old Worlds, it imagines what happens to these beings when belief in them wanes.

In Gaiman's world, new gods have arisen to take their place. Instead of nature or war deities, new gods have been created who reflect modern America's obsessions with media, celebrity, technology and drugs. 'American Gods' follows an ex-con named Shadow who finds himself embroiled in a battle between the classic mythological deities who have now largely been forgotten, and the "new" American gods to whom people's attention has shifted.

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American Gods is not a favorite book of mine, but it should make an interesting TV series; that is, if it's done right.

Got to give HBO some credit for really embracing genre television and doing it well.

June 15 2011 at 1:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'll take it, but I hope this doesn't mean we'll never see Gaiman & Terry Pratchett's Good Omens movie

June 15 2011 at 12:49 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Don't tell George Lucas you got a big budget to a special effects heavy series - he'll start crying, because he thinks its not possible. Apparently he hasn't seen the fine work done on BSG or the upcoming Sci-fi series on TNT and Fox.

June 15 2011 at 11:13 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

One of my favorite books - fingers crossed that they don't totally ruin it...

June 15 2011 at 10:15 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

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