After nearly three years of development at HBO ended in stalemate, most assumed that American Gods had simply gone the way of other complicated Neil Gaiman adaptations. But in a world where Sandman finally gets a green light for a movie, Gaiman’s other popular fantasy about the interplay between man and mythological creatures is now getting another chance at Starz. On the back of the project being picked up by Fremantle Media (producers of the upcoming remake of The Returned), Starz has partnered with Fremantle and executive producers Gaiman, Bryan Fuller, and Michael Green to develop a series based on the 2001 novel about Old World gods struggling to exist in the modern era—a time when their powers have waned thanks to being supplanted by newer deities with greater charisma, such as the acne-ridden teenager who rules the Internet.
Fuller—no stranger to characters with god complexes thanks to work on Heroes and Hannibal—will write the pilot, with showrunning duties falling to Green, creator of the short-lived biblical drama Kings and a writer-producer on Heroes, Smallville, and Green Lantern, so he’s similarly well-versed in people favoring new gods over old ones. And while HBO’s Michael Lombardo said that its hang-up about bringing American Gods to air was that “we couldn’t craft the script as good as we needed it to be” to match the bar for book adaptations HBO had already set with Game Of Thrones, Starz’s announcement shows no such reservations. “With our partners at Fremantle Media and with Bryan, Michael and Neil, we believe we can create a series that honors the book and does right by the fans and viewers,” said Carmi Zlotnik, managing director of Starz, and the new god of cable channel hubris in which you now place your faith.