After a few months of uncertainty, a new production company is set to take on Neil Gaiman's award-winning novel American Gods.
For more than two years, Gaiman's Hugo- and Nebula Award-winning novel about an ex-convict who takes a mysterious job and finds himself embroiled in a battle between new gods and old was reportedly in development at HBO with Tom Hanks' production company, Playtone. The network, who's been a dominant force in genre television on cable for the last three years with Game of Thrones, seemed like a perfect fit for Gaiman's epic, but in a Reddit AMA in November, Gaiman confirmed that the project was no longer with HBO.
“There is an American Gods TV series in the works,” Gaiman said then. “It’s no longer with HBO. The moment that things are ready to be announced I am sure they will be, either legitimately or via a leak in a big Hollywood Agency mailroom.”
Now, it seems that the property has not only left HBO, but also Playtone. FremantleMedia announced Monday that it's optioned Gaiman's novel for TV development. Many of Fremantle's biggest properties include game shows and reality competition series such as American Idol, America's Got Talent and The Price Is Right, but the company is also in the midst of a new scripted programming push these days. Among its new and forthcoming productions are the CW series The Tomorrow People, the American adaptation of the French zombie drama The Returned and the forthcoming Spike series Basket Case. Now the company is poised to add American Gods to that lineup.
There's no word yet on what network the show could end up on, or who might be spearheading the project at this point, but this is certainly new progress for a show that seemed stuck in development over at HBO. With any luck, we'll find out about more progress soon, and maybe in the coming years Shadow, Mr. Wednesday and company will finally be put on film.