by: Donna Whitehead
Starz is developing a series based on Neil Gaiman’s Hugo-winning novel AMERICAN GODS. Gaiman will serve as executive producer alongside Michael Green and “Hannibal” showrunner Bryan Fuller; Fuller will write the pilot, and Green will be the series’ showrunner. FremantleMedia North America is producing.
“American Gods” is such a popular novel among fantasy fans that it’s actually somewhat surprising no serious attempt has been made to bring it to the screen before. Gaiman spent about three years (starting in 2011) in discussions with HBO to create a series based on the novel, but the project never materialized. This time around, Starz has a script-to-series commitment, so if they like Fuller’s pilot, we should see Shadow Moon, Mr. Wednesday, and the rest of the gang on our TVs.
The caliber of the team working on this is pretty impressive. Fuller, of course, is pulling in accolades left and right for “Hannibal,” but it’s his previous shows–“Dead Like Me,” “Wonderfalls,” and “Pushing Daisies,” each of them full of whimsy and a little darkness–that show what a good choice he is to bring out the best in the “American Gods” pilot. Green, meanwhile, can definitely bring the necessary high drama and mythology that “American Gods” needs; he was the creator and showrunner of NBC’s short-lived 2009 show “Kings,” a modernized retelling of the Biblical story of David, which received positive critical attention (if low viewership).
Between the twin draws of Fuller and Gaiman, Starz could have a real hit on its hands, if everything works out well. Here’s hoping.