Starz Developing ‘American Gods’ Series With ‘Hannibal’ Creator Bryan Fuller

Published 10 months ago by

starz american gods tv series Starz Developing American Gods Series With Hannibal Creator Bryan Fuller

The Sandman comic book creator Neil Gaiman’s best-selling, award-winning, contemporary mythological fantasia novel, American Gods has once again begun the climb to the small screen. Gaiman had been doing his part to help the possibility of a TV series adaptation on HBO become a reality for some time, but earlier this year we found out that Fremantle Media had acquired the show rights – and today, Starz has released a press release announcing the script to series development of the American Gods property in collaboration with Fremantle.

Showrunner duties on the American Gods series have been assigned to Bryan Fuller and Michael Green, who have worked together before on the super-powered individuals TV action/drama Heroes (when it was at its peak, that is). Their collective resumes encompass much more than that, as Fuller is currently serving as the showrunner on NBC’s lauded Hannibal TV show (which he also created), while Green’s body of work in the small screen medium includes Smallville, Everwood, and Kings; together, the pair will be writing the American Gods pilot for Starz.

Gaiman will serve as an executive producer alongside Fuller and Green, similar to how George R.R. Martin assists show runners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss on the HBO series adaptation of his A Song of Ice and Fire books, Game of Thrones. It’s certainly feasible that Gaiman, like Martin does on Game, will also help script the American Gods series, maybe even penning the occasional episode; Gaiman already has some experience in that area under his belt, having written a few American Gods pilot scripts back when HBO was involved (he’s also penned a couple of Doctor Who episodes in recent years).

For those unfamiliar, here’s how Gaiman’s source novel is summarized and described in the Starz/Fremantle press release:

The 2001 novel has been translated into over 30 languages and earned numerous accolades including Hugo, Nebula and Bram Stoker Awards for Best Novel. 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.

american gods tv show neil gaiman Starz Developing American Gods Series With Hannibal Creator Bryan Fuller

Here is the exact wording of Gaiman’s vote of confidence, where it concerns Fuller and Green’s ability to do justice by his beloved source material:

“When you create something like ‘American Gods,’ which attracts fans and obsessives and people who tattoo quotes from it on themselves or each other, and who all, tattooed or not, just care about it deeply, it’s really important to pick your team carefully: you don’t want to let the fans down, or the people who care and have been casting it online since the dawn of recorded history. What I love most about the team who I trust to take it out to the world, is that they are the same kind of fanatics that ’American Gods’ has attracted since the start. I haven’t actually checked Bryan Fuller or Michael Green for quote tattoos, but I would not be surprised if they have them. The people at Fremantle are the kinds of people who have copies of ‘American Gods in the bottom of their backpacks after going around the world, and who press them on their friends. And the team at Starz have been quite certain that they wanted to give Shadow, Wednesday and Laura a home since they first heard that the book was out there.I can’t wait to see what they do to bring the story to the widest possible audience able to cope with it.”

American Gods has the potential to be a prestige series for Starz, much as Fuller’s Hannibal TV show brings more artistic credibility to NBC’s standing. Good news for Starz that, seeing how most of the channel’s original genre series content (Black Sails, Da Vinci’s Demons) has managed to draw in respectable viewer numbers, but without receiving the sort of critical respect that may help the channel better in the long-term.

Gaiman’s source book, like the Hannibal show, blends together horror, bleak comedy, and poignant drama; American Gods also explores dark fantasy genre territory in a fashion that’s often poetic and heavy (though not overbearingly so) on the symbolism, recalling how Hannibal utilizes dream logic in order to rise above its crime investigation drama elements. That bodes quite well for Green and Fuller’s televisual rendition of Gaiman’s work – not least of all, because the pair will now be afforded the greater creative freedom that comes with working in cable television.

We’ll keep you posted on development of Starz’ American Gods TV series.

Source: Starz/Fremantle Media

Follow Sandy Schaefer on Twitter @feynmanguy
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  1. GREAT to hear!

    Sad to hear… I don’t think I have Starz……

  2. Good news to see its gonna get made, wish HBO hadnt passed on this but hopefully its good.

    Could be big for Starz

  3. Fiiinnaaallyy. If done corrctly this will be the next big tv show.

  4. Starz getting new good show maybe, here’s looking at you Power.

  5. Yeeeeeeeeees!!! I’ve never read the book (or books), but I was hooked as soon as I read the premise way back when HBO first wanted to do it. I was so upset when I read things fell apart at HBO. I mean I could care less who brings it to television, I just want it. Starz has really picked it’s game up over the past few years. First with Spartacus… then with DaVinci’s Demons and Black Sails… heck, I even like the new one Power. I’m really excited to finally get a chance to see this on cable… now hurry up!!!!

  6. Uh, actually it sounds dumb as far as my personal tastes go. I’ll pass.

    • DOUBLE GREAT NEWS! Americans Gods…(GREAT BOOK) finally made into a show and you won’t be putting that infamously bad input in about it! HAHA yes!

  7. Off to Amazon to buy the book. Gonna read the book, I’m not getting “George R. R Martin’d” ever again.

    • Do it! It’s a good read!

    • What does that mean? Were you killed prior to this comment?

        • Nice. I laughed, not out loud but I did laugh.

          • Laughed nonetheless… hahahaha At your service.

      • To answer your question. My intro like most other people was the tv show, so when Ned Stark was killed I was so angry I bought the books with the intention to read but I stopped after the 1st book. By then I was thinking that nothing will be as surprising, or traumatizing, as Neds death. But then the Red Wedding happened and in anger I read the rest of the books. I’d rather the book “traumatize” me than the TV show; the books, I feel, are a little less heavy handed and investment in the characters isn’t as deep as when you see and hear the characters on TV.

  8. I just finished watching the butchering of one of my favorite comic characters, Constantine, which was basically a bloody abortion performed by gutless PG back-alley sweeney todds.

    I can’t understand why the studios want to adapt material that simply does not belong in their wheelhouse, and I have a very bad feeling about this truly great and imaginative novel being brought to the small screen. Even if Gaiman has confidence in it… how many horrible adaptations has Stephen King expressed confidence in over the years?

    p.s. Hannibal is a terrible, terrible show, disguising its nearly cruel shallow treatment of iconic characters in a thin veil of pretend psychoanalysis, hiding behind a slow, overdramatic ‘descent into the maelstrom’…

  9. Finally. I wish HBO could have given the green light on this instead of passing though. Fuller has done an amazing job with Hannibal and if he inputs that same amount of passion into this show, Starz may actually have a series that can actually rival a show like Spartacus. Casting is very important so we shall see

  10. American Gods is my favorite book. Neil Gaiman is my favorite author. I have been waiting for a tv/film adaptation of this brilliant story since I first read the book over a decade ago. I was excited for HBO to do it. Starz doesn’t give me as much faith as HBO did but then I see Bryan Fuller is on board. He has become my favorite tv producer. I loved Wonderfalls (criminally underwatched), season one of Dead Like Me was fantastic and Hannibal is currently my favorite network show (possibly tied with The Good Wife).

    This is all great news. If they get the casting right this could be an amazing show. Can’t wait!

  11. American Gods is a disjointed mess of a novel. You would have to rewrite the thing from the ground up and change everything to make it work. Why anyone would want to produce this is beyond me.

  12. This is exciting! Love the book and am so glad that Fuller is attached because Hannibal is my favorite show on TV at the moment. His work on that show bodes well for his work on AG