Once upon a time, Neil Gaiman‘s Hugo and Nebula Award-winning novel American Godswas set to be adapted into a new TV series for HBO. But sadly that didn’t work out, leaving the project to search for a new home.
Eventually the project found a new production company to back it in FreemantleMedia, but the question of what channel the show might air on remained. Now comes word that American Gods has found a new home at Starz, and that Bryan Fuller and Michael Green will serve as showrunners.
Fuller has previously written and produced for shows like Star Trek: Voyager, Wonderfalls, Dead Like Me, Pushing Daisies, Heroes, and Hannibal. Green’s past television writing and producing credits include Smallville, Everwood, Heroes, Kings, and The River. He also worked on the screenplay for 2011’s Green Lantern movie, and is or has worked on the scripts for upcoming titles Prometheus 2, Blade Runner 2, and The Flash movie.
Of the announcement, Gaiman said:
“When you create something like ‘American Gods,’ which attracts fans and obsessives and people who tattoo quotes from it on themselves or each other, and who all, tattooed or not, just care about it deeply, it’s really important to pick your team carefully: you don’t want to let the fans down, or the people who care and have been casting it online since the dawn of recorded history. What I love most about the team who I trust to take it out to the world, is that they are the same kind of fanatics that ’American Gods’ has attracted since the start. I haven’t actually checked Bryan Fuller or Michael Green for quote tattoos, but I would not be surprised if they have them. The people at Fremantle are the kinds of people who have copies of ‘American Gods in the bottom of their backpacks after going around the world, and who press them on their friends. And the team at Starz have been quite certain that they wanted to give Shadow, Wednesday and Laura a home since they first heard that the book was out there. I can’t wait to see what they do to bring the story to the widest possible audience able to
cope with it.”
With Fuller adding:
“Neil Gaiman has created the holiest of holy toy boxes with ‘American Gods’ and filled it with all manner of magical thing, born of new gods and old. Michael Green and I are thrilled to crack this toy box wide open and unleash the fantastical titans of heaven and earth and Neil’s vividly prolific imagination.”
It was once thought—and still may be at least somewhat true—that HBO decided not to make American Gods when they committed fully to Damon Lindelof’s new series, The Leftovers. HBO head Michael Lombardi, however, has been asked why they chose not to make it, and he said it was mainly because they simply couldn’t, after multiple writers/attempts, get the script to the level they needed it to be to make their quality of show.
This could be something to be nervous about if you’re a fan. Gaiman’s story is a complex one, and it could be that it’s just not one that translates well to from book-to-TV. HBO was also said to be developing it for a potential six seasons, so hopefully Fuller, Green, and Starz concentrate on making one or two seasons as good as they can be to start and then worry about the future after that.
A timeline for when me might see American Gods on Starz is not yet known.