After Tuesday’s news about FreemantleMedia picking up the rights to American Gods, Neil Gaiman has taken to his blog to give us some updates about what will be happening with his novel.
Gaiman confirmed what I mentioned, that so far there are no solid details like casting, production dates or show-runners, but he predicts that American Gods will have an easier time in the hands of FreemantleMedia than when it was with HBO.
A few people have asked for more background on this: HBO had an option on American Gods for several years. It went through three different pilot scripts. HBO has a limited number of slots and, after a while, passed it to Cinemax, who are in the HBO family, who decided eventually they didn’t want to do it, and the option expired, which unfortunately meant we couldn’t work with Tom Hanks’ production company Playtone any longer, as they are exclusive to HBO. However, Stefanie Berk, who had been one of the brightest stars at Playtone, had recently moved to Freemantle, and was as determined as she had been when she was at Playtone to bring American Gods to the screen. And I was impressed by her determination.
Gaiman also confirmed that his American Gods semi-spin-off novel, Anansi Boys, has been picked up for the BBC by Red, for a TV mini-series. Anansi Boys tells the story of the children of Mr. Nancy, a character in American Gods. It’s a far more light-hearted and silly story, but in a good way, and will be well suited for a TV adaptation. Gaiman thinks that Red will have an easier time of it, while FreemantleMedia have the more difficult task of expanding the American Gods stories.
Yes, I’m really thrilled about both of these things. Freemantle has the harder task, as they are going to have to open up American Gods into something bigger than the book. Red are just going to have to make an absolutely brilliant faithful version of Anansi Boys.
As Gaiman’s stories have done so well as adaptations before, Coraline and Stardust being the stand-out for me, I’m looking forward to see where these two series go. Now, if only we could get more news on that Sandman movie…
Last Updated: February 6, 2014