How Game of Thrones will help bring Gaiman's American Gods to TV

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Dec 14, 2012, 4:51 PM EST

As we told you yesterday, HBO is so confident that Game of Thrones is going to be successful it's already discussing a second season before the first episode has even aired. Now the network is eyeing a new book to develop into a series: the fabulous American Gods, written by Neil Gaiman.

And the series would be brought to you by ... Tom Hanks.

To be more precise, Playtone, Tom Hanks' production company, would be developing American Gods for the small screen. (Previous Playtone productions for HBO include Big Love, John Adams, Band of Brothers and From the Earth to the Moon).

American Gods, which is considered the second-best book of the '00s, is about an ex-convict who is caught up in the struggle between the old gods (such as Odin, Kali and Anansi) and the new (like Media and Technical Boy).

In a way, a lot is riding on Game of Thrones: If the ratings are as good as they are for True Blood, it means HBO will be more likely to further court sci-fi and fantasy viewers. Also, the larger the audience HBO has with Game of Thrones, the more money it can pour into other works, like American Gods.

There's no word on what kind of series American Gods will make, but it seems to be a natural fit for a several-part mini-series. If audiences want more, there's always Anansi Boys, Gaiman's loose sequel, set in the same universe.

(via Hollywood Reporter)