The saga of Neil Gaiman’s American Gods TV series has been an epic in and of itself, as over the past few years we’ve watched ownership of the project shift from HBO to FremantleMedia. That’s not surprising, seeing as producer Stephanie Berk has moved over to FremantleMedia North America as Executive VP of Scripted Development, so it makes sense that the project moved with her.
Now, the latest news is that Starz will develop the TV series, with Bryan Fuller joining Gaiman as one of the producers.
According to Zap2it, Pushing Daisies and Hannibal creator Bryan Fuller and Michael Green (an executive producer on Heroes) will write the pilot, with Green serving as the series’ showrunner.
Gaiman’s statement is the kind of thing we love to hear authors say about who they choose to adapt their work:
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.
Fuller chimes in on the mutual geek-out:
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.
Starz also seems very enthusiastic about the project: managing director Carmi Zlotnik said,
American Gods is a project that deserves to be made. With our partners at FremantleMedia and with Bryan, Michael and Neil, we believe we can create a series that honors the book and does right by the fans and viewers.
But what about the book—or, rather, books? Back when HBO was developing American Gods, the plan was for the first two seasons of the TV series to adapt the book, while subsequent seasons would pull from the sequel Gaiman was said to be working on. But since the HBO series was dropped, we haven’t heard definitive news of the additional novel.
Considering that HBO is very much a multiple-books-as-source-material network, and Starz is more willing to try things out on a single book, could the sequel be scrapped entirely? Only time will tell.