HBO Adapting Neil Gaiman's AMERICAN GODS

Just days before HBO unveils their adaptation of George RR Martin's novel Game of Thrones on Sunday which they translated into an epic-sized production, comes news from Deadline that attention has turned to Neil Gaiman's American Gods. HBO have acquired the rights to the fantasy epic, pitched for the screen by gifted cinematographer Robert Richardson via Tom Hanks' production company Playtone. Richardson will make his script writing debut, co-writing the pilot with Gaiman himself. Presumably he will also direct the pilot too and clearly it's his imagination as a cinematographer for what he could do with the suggested imagery that has attracted him to the property. I'm not aware of this particular Gaiman but from reading up on it, the 2002 novel seems to revolve around the idea that the traditional, mythological Gods have become weakened in the modern era as people have stopped believing they exist and because of this, a new set of Gods are birthed that more reflect society's obsession with fame, the media and technology and drugs. This eventually manifests itself into a battle between the two opposing Gods. You wouldn't know any of that from just reading the book synopsis however;
Released from prison, Shadow finds his world turned upside down. His wife has been killed; a mysterious stranger offers him a job. But Mr. Wednesday, who knows more about Shadow than is possible, warns that a storm is coming €” a battle for the very soul of America . . . and they are in its direct path.
The scope sure sounds epic. Gaiman fans or those who have read the novel, is a t.v. series the way to go?? Interestingly, the rights were sold just last week after a whopping six years of trying on Richardson's behalf to get a deal sealed. Definitely a passion project then. Richardson is a guy most here at OWF are in love with and his regular collaborations with Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino and Oliver Stone have resulted in works of art, basically. Especially recently, he has moved onto another level over the past few years - Shutter Island and Inglourious Basterds were drop dead gorgeous. He has won two Oscars in his time for The Aviator and JFK and we've heard recently that he is beginning work on the zombie epic World War Z at Elstree studios. As far as Gaiman adaptations go, the few of them there are (Coraline, Stardust) we are hitting two for two. A Sandman t.v. series is in the works but isn't the easiest to adapt, Neil Jordan is working on bringing The Graveyard Book to the big screen and there's talk of other Gaiman novels in the offing but it's not yet clear which of his productions will be the third to hit our screens.

Matt Holmes is the co-founder of What Culture, formerly known as Obsessed With Film. He has been blogging about pop culture and entertainment since 2006 and has written over 10,000 articles.