Neil Gaiman is one of the most popular writers of our generation. He’s worked on nearly every facet of the entertainment industry, spanning film, television, comic books, and novels. Most recently, he has written for ‘Doctor Who’ and Marvel Comics’ ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ and ‘Marvelman’, but he is also the mind behind ‘The Sandman’, ‘Stardust’, ‘Coraline’, and much more. But now, another one of his beloved works is being adapted for the small screen.
FremantleMedia is developing a drama series for Gaiman’s urban fantasy novel ‘American Gods’, a story that finds one man drawn into a brewing battle between the old mythical gods and the newer gods that reflect America’s obsessions with media, technology, celebrity, and money. The company recently acquired the rights to the award-winning book in an attempt to up their scripted output. No network has been named at this time, but the author will serve as executive producer as the project moves through development.
Previously, ‘American Gods’ was being set up at HBO with Tom Hanks’ Playtone in 2011, but the momentum slowed down quite a bit before it was dropped entirely last year. Word is that the cable powerhouse was unhappy with the script that Gaiman turned in as it featured too much new material as opposed to a straight adaptation of the novel. /Film shares the writer’s rejected changes:
“I wrote this first draft script that I loved. One of the reasons I loved it was because I go to do all this new stuff that wasn’t in the book. I got to open it up. Look, the book begins with Shadow in prison, about to get out of prison, so I opened the [pilot episode so] you got to see the bank robbery that went wrong, you got to see all the things that wound up with him in prison you got to see his entire three-year stretch in prison… you’re half an hour into this thing before he’s getting out of prison – stuff like that – and it was definitely the sort of awkward, embarrassed notes from HBO where they’re going ‘Um, can you make it more like the book?’”
Since then, Gaiman has re-drafted his script to resemble the book, but now that HBO is out of the picture, we may get the expanded version after all. Frankly, we’re so early in the process that it’s all up in the air, so it’ll be interesting to see which way the series ends up going.
What do you think of ‘American Gods’ being adapted into a TV show? Do you have any ideas about which network it may end up at? Let us know in the comments below.