It practically needed divine intervention to happen, but premium cable channel the Starz Network is finally bringing American Gods (based on fantasy author Neil Gaiman’s book) to the small screen. Hannibal showrunner Bryan Fuller and Michael Green (Everwood) are writing the long-gestating series for the network, with Gaiman also onboard as one of the executive producers.
Published in 2001, the American Gods novel was Gaiman’s first big success as a prose writer, having already achieved much acclaim for his work on comic books like The Sandman series. Gaiman’s source material was once being considered by HBO to get the series treatment, but that deal eventually fell through (after years of being mired in development hell) and the show was picked up by Starz, instead.
Here is Starz’ official American Gods synopsis:
The plot posits a war brewing between old and new gods: the traditional gods of biblical and mythological roots from around the world steadily losing believers to an upstart pantheon of gods reflecting society’s modern love of money, technology, media, celebrity and drugs. Its protagonist, Shadow Moon, is an ex-con who becomes bodyguard and traveling partner to Mr. Wednesday, a conman but in reality one of the older gods, on a cross-country mission to gather his forces in preparation to battle the new deities.
Fuller, to prove to skeptical fans that yes, this time American Gods is actually happening, he’s been sharing concept art through his Twitter account. The preliminary production sketches include a teaser image which sums up all the key elements of American Gods – namely, a cross-country road trip through the United States undertaken by mythical beings – with a portentous ink drawing of a huge deity on an equally giant horse (we assume you’ll be able to piece together who the god is, on your own), descending from the clouds above a car.
Have a look at that image (which included the caption “ON YOUR KNEES (with your prayers)” from Fuller), below:
The other piece of art Fuller shared received Neil Gaiman’s approval almost immediately: a full-color painting of the “Bone Orchard”, the name given to a creepy cemetery by the character Low-Key Lyesmith. “I love this painting,” Gaiman tweeted soon after Fuller revealed the image. Have a look at the artwork, below:
Fuller and Green (who previously worked together on NBC’s superhero TV series Heroes) are sharing showrunner duties on the American Gods TV show. Besides his work on the darkly atmospheric Hannibal, Fuller is otherwise best known as the creator and showrunner of cult series like Pushing Daisies and Dead Like Me, which also feature magical realism themes (similar to American Gods) and tackle mythological concepts in their own off-beat fashion. It’s for related reasons that many feel Gaiman’s source material is in good hands, in this case.
Americans Gods is expected to begin production in 2015. It should premiere on Starz sometime in 2016.