HBO in Talks to Develop Neil Gaiman’s ‘American Gods’

Published 4 years ago by , Updated August 13th, 2013 at 10:48 pm,

HBO has expressed interest in adapting the novel American Gods from acclaimed author Neil Gaiman.

It looks as though HBO is seriously broadening their horizons. No longer content to merely dabble in the intricate details of street-level character studies, the premium channel’s recent acquisitions suggest it is ready to tackle large-scale stories on par with summer blockbusters.

First will come this Sunday’s highly anticipated premiere of George RR Martin’s Game of Thrones, but soon after, HBO may be looking to develop another fantasy series based on Gaiman’s American Gods.


According to Deadline, renowned cinematographer Robert Richardson (Hugo Cabret, Inglorious Bastards, Shutter Island) first brought the material to Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman’s Playtone with the intention that he and Gaiman would collaborate to script the potential series.  Playtone then brought American Gods to HBO, with whom the production company has a rich, almost exclusive history. Together the two have produced such programs as Band of Brothers, The Pacific, John Adams and the upcoming Lizzy Borden mini-series starring Chloe Sevigny.

American Gods centers on the concept that belief allows ancient beings, creatures and myths to actually exist, but because of modern man’s obsession with (and worship of) celebrity, technology and media, the power that fed these beings has diminished, and given rise to a collection of “new gods” that are more aligned with the thinking of modern man.

In the story, an ex-convict named Shadow is asked to be the bodyguard for an aging con man who calls himself Mr. Wednesday. Taking the position, Shadow finds himself venturing across America, meeting an eclectic array of characters that seem to know Mr. Wednesday is anything but what he seems. Eventually, it is revealed to Shadow that Mr. Wednesday is a very old god, in the midst of recruiting an army to stand against these new so-called deities.

Neil Gaiman Adaptation Coraline HBO in Talks to Develop Neil Gaiman’s ‘American Gods’

Many a fan has long dreamed of  seeing Gaiman’s work thrust upon the screen. As of late, adaptations of the author’s work – like Matthew Vaughn’s Stardust and the CGI animated film Coraline – have been heaped with praise. Meanwhile, high hopes remain for Neil Jordan’s vision of Gaiman’s 2009 novel The Graveyard Book. However, it is his legendary work on the Vertigo series Sandman that has remained the Holy Grail of adaptations for Gaiman fans worldwide, but details on that remain scarce.

However, the unexpected involvement of a name like Richardson’s fills the project with both questions and excitement – not unlike the recent announcement that visual effects guru Tim Miller would be the director of choice for the feature film starring Marvel’s merc with a mouth: Deadpool. Hopefully, film and television fans will remain optimistic regarding the purported genius inside these heretofore-untapped creative resources.

American Gods is rife with possibilities for either a mini-series or a lengthier ongoing program. While it is uncertain which avenue HBO will take, the likelihood that it will be the highly profitable series route – similar to Game of Thrones – is very good, indeed.


We will be sure to update you as American Gods‘ journey to becoming an HBO series unfolds.

Source: /Film, Deadline

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  1. HBO…American Gods…I think I can die happy. The only thing better would be AMC.

    • American Gods is a dreary, badly developed Freshman novel backed by Scientology. The characters are awful and the story is completely idiotic. There is no plot, so why would HBO develop this goofy book? Scientology wants it developed.

      • Jacob…

        You might want to read my response below, in terms of any Scientology concerns. As for your strong dislike of the writing and story of AMERICAN GODS, well, you’re certainly entitled to your opinion…Just realize that I and MANY others think you are absolutely wrong.

  2. There are spoilers in the review. I believe when I read it it was hinted at who Mr. Wednesday is and gradually revealed. However the link kind of ruins it.

  3. This would make a fantastic MAXI-series…I must hope it’s well-done and successful, so it will be released on DVD/BluRay. I have no HBO…sigh.

  4. sounds awesome I can’t wait

  5. Neil Gaiman is underwriting Scientology. The Scientologist’s list Neil Gaiman in the Cornerstone Newsletter along with Mary Gaiman, as contributing $35,000.00 in 2009. Being listed in the Cornerstone Newsletter means you are in good-standing with the cult.

    In 2010, Mary Gaiman was awarded the “Gold Humanitarian Award” for her contribution of $500,000.00 to Scientology. This is significant because Mary Gaiman continues to be Neil Gaiman’s business partner in The Blank Corporation, which is now Neil Gaiman’s Scientology front and how he pays the cult.

    Gaiman is also the “Vitamin Heir” of Scientology. The Gaiman family owns G&G Vitamins which reaps 6 million a year from selling The Purification Rundown Vitamins.

    Gaiman’s two sisters, Claire Edwards and Lizzie Calciole are not just high-ranking Scientologists, they are the head of RECRUITING and the head of Wealden House, the Scientology stronghold in East Grinstead. These two cannot associate with Neil unless he is in good standing.

    • Well, this may or may not be true, but really, I just want to see “American Gods” (and “Anansi Boys” and “The Sandman”). That IS, after all, what the article discusses.

  6. Tom Hanks admitted he HAS NOT EVEN READ AMERICAN GODS. Gaiman and his writing partner are SCIENTOLOGISTS! Tom Hanks and his wife Rita are naive idiots being played. The Scientology blog network is pushing this Turkey, piece of crap novel American God’s hard to try and influence Hanks. It’s all a lie.

    As one blog put it “Boo! American Gods is terrible! It’s seriously the worst book I’ve ever read, and I’ve read 22 (yes) Stephen King novels, 13 Dean Koontz schlock-fests, 2/3rds of Mrs. Dalloway, and the first two chapters of The Game. It’s the worst!”

    • AMERICAN GODS has absolutely nothing to do with Scientology, neither overtly nor by implication. It DOES involve religious/mythological figures (ancient/very old ones) and themes…among other concepts to progress its story…hence the title.

      Have you read the novel (or its excellent follow-up ANANSI BOYS)? Maybe that blogger did not? It’s actually a great novel and worth a read…and I don’t even feel the need to list the novels I’ve read like some kind of desperate grocery list. :)

      By the way, if you’re really going to rail against someone on purely religious (thus, specious) reasoning, you might want to find another numbering system than HINDU-Arabic numerals (counting might become a tad bit more difficult). Also, if you’re Christian, I hope you never trick-or-treated OR put up a Christmas tree…both of those are based on outright pagan and pre-Christian concepts. If you’re Jewish, you probably should just move to an out-of-the way island (or maybe some small village in Asia) since so much of the world worships as Christians…you know, those JESUS (who was JEWISH, BTW) followers! Oh, and you can just forget about looking up at the stars with ANY sort of definitive knowledge base since Arabic (Muslim and other) peoples were among those (including various Asian peoples) who came up with the basic precepts of astronomical observation AND navigation AND explosives (leading to modern astronomy, GPS, and rocketry).

      Finally, I assume you have a drastically different calendar than most people in the Western (or Western-society-influenced) world since you would not deign to lower yourself to living on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday (all named after Norse deities) or in January, February, March, April, May, or June (all named for Greco-Roman or later deities). You must live an extremely fast life, what with only two days a week and six months a year…

      mest and samiam…Just sayin’… ;)

      • Oops…That list of days of the week should include Saturday (named after Saturn, one of the Greco-Roman Titans). :D

      • The money Gaiman receives form American Gods goes to Scientology who uses it to abuse children among other sad souls. Gaiman’s pathetic and cowardly association with the cult has ruined his career.

        • Please…give the links, or stop this silly babbling.

        • Oh, and by the way, Gaiman’s career is moving along quite well…

          • Ha, ha… if you call a series of failed movies and dreary books “quite well.” Gaiman is a laughing stock after his ridiculous Citizen Caine turn on the stage. His books are miserable and lack verisimilitude. Scientology has fried Gaiman’s brain.

            • Actually, the movies, while not blockbusters, haven’t been failures…In fact, “Coraline” was extremely popular and acclaimed when it showed in theaters. As for his writings, Gaiman has been repeatedly lauded for his work and has produced one bestseller after another (in fact, this is WHY so many of his stories have been filmed). AMERICAN GODS was loved by quite a few critics and many, many readers. A story (“Midsummer Night’s Dream”) in his “Sandman” series of comics even won the World Fantasy Award for that year, something no other comic had done previously nor has done since.

              Gaiman is STILL a respected fantasist…hence, this article (the word “DUH” comes to mind at this point).

              FACTS: a breath of fresh air…

              Try again.

              • This is the hilarious way Scientology answers. You aren’t concerned that Gaiman is associated with a disreputable cult that throws people in camps and encourages them to commit suicide.

                You’re upset because someone pointed out that Gaiman’s career is on the down-slide.

                What a pathetic waste of a human life, to equate material success with worthiness. Neil Gaiman is morally bankrupt and the Sea Org clowns who work for him and patrol the web trying defend his importance are only making it worse.

                • I’m not a Scientologist, nor a supporter of that cult, so the rest of your response is invalidated…and a sad joke.

                  I AM a supporter of well-written, interesting, provocative literature…and hopeful about adaptations of such work.

                  You, mest, samiam, Israel, and Reynolds really ought to consider starting some kind of club…maybe come up with cute membership cards and a secret clubhouse for your “secret fortress against the Scientologists and the Nazis and the Communists and the aliens”.


                • BTW, Tyrone…

                  They sound really dangerous. Are you gathering hard evidence, so you can get an attorney or even the federal government itself to prosecute a serious case against the Church of Scientology? They were started as the response to a bet by L. Ron Hubbard…surely, there are tangible pieces of evidence to find?

                  If you do not do everything in your power to END this apparent threat to people across the country, then you are MUCH more evil than what you accuse them of being…THINK about it.

  7. Robert Richardson and Neil Gaiman are BOTH Scientologists and Hanks hasn’t even read the book. This is just Sceino Cult BS.

    • WHAT is bs???

      • bs is when a large bull takes a crap.