Bryan Fuller says American Gods will have a Marvel-style universe. With gods.

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Nov 6, 2015, 6:52 PM EST (Updated)

Bryan Fuller has some ambitious plans for his upcoming American Gods series, currently in the works at Starz. Even though he’s mainly working with one piece of literary work (Sandman creator Neil Gaiman’s titular book), Fuller is hoping to create a vast "Marvel Universe" with his new TV show.

In a new interview with Crave Online, Fuller discussed his plans for American Gods, the series based on Neil Gaiman’s best-selling fantasy novel. Fuller will be working on the adaptation alongside Heroes producer Michael Green, who’ll be on board as his co-showrunner. Gaiman will executive-produce, while David Slade (Hannibal, Powers) will direct the pilot as well as executive-produce. First off, the busy Pushing Daisies creator (who also happens to have a revival of Amazing Stories in the works at NBC) offered an update on how his new series is coming along:

American Gods is cruising along very nicely. It’s very exciting. There’s conversations in the writer’s room that we are having on this show that I’ve never had in a writer’s room before, because we’re actually given the ability to talk about fate and belief, and the rules which we use to navigate society being challenged in a fashion that is not anti-religion, but not necessarily letting religion off the hook entirely.

So it’s very important to us in the show to not be making fun of anybody for their religious beliefs because we all have some sort of belief-like thing in our brain that could arguably be delusional, whether it’s ghosts or gods or whatever superstition, black cats, walking under ladders, et cetera. So every one of us is prone to a delusion-like belief and that feels like it’s an exciting arena to talk about humanity in a way that I haven’t been able to do before on a show. Not since Star Trek really.

The upcoming series will be taking a stab at organized religion, something that’s not in the book. There are no priests; no one’s really going to church. But that is something that’s actually going to be addressed in the series:

We get into Jesus and the big God as well. You know, so much of the book is exploring the more marginalized gods who are struggling to make their way in modern America without the strength of the believers that, say, Jesus and Buddha and Easter might have because of their public personas. So it wasn’t necessarily a part of the novel but ideally what our goal would be with this series - mine, Michael Green’s, Neil Gaiman’s - would be that the book American Gods is actually the Reader’s Digest version of the story.

From what Fuller also says in the interview, it looks like we can expect to meet up with more than one Jesus. And that these Jesuses may or may not get to meet as well. “There’s as many Jesuses as there are cultures that believe in Jesus. I won’t say [whether they’ll actually meet and get into an argument], but stay tuned. That’s kind of your answer.”

As for his overall plans for the upcoming fantasy series, Fuller says that he’s looking at it as some sort of Marvel-style shared universe, but with gods instead of superheroes. And while they don’t have the rights to Anansi Boys (the spinoff book) just yet, they’re looking to make the world of American Gods cohesive and richly detailed, allowing for possible spinoffs if the show proves a hit:

We don’t have the rights to Anansi Boys but we’re hoping that we will eventually. Mr. Nancy is going to play a major role in the series and potentially what we’re looking at with American Gods is developing a Marvel Universe, not with superheroes but with gods. As detailed and integrated as the Marvel Universe is, and doing that with deities is something that excited all of us.

So who knows? In success we may have spin-offs of American Gods that follow lesser gods in greater detail than you might in the main series, but there’s all sorts of potential for this show that we’re very excited about and I hope the audience is as enthusiastic as we are so we can bring those dreams to fruition.

I'm really excited about the direction Bryan Fuller wants to take his TV adaptation of Neil Gaiman's iconic book. The only major bummer right now being we'll have to wait until 2017 before we see how this world-building will unfold on our TV screens when American Gods premieres on Starz. What do you think of Fuller's potential plans to create a Marvel-type of universe with his new fantasy series? Do you think it's something that could work?

(via Crave Online)

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