Monday, May 2, 2011

Oh My American Gods!

Oh My American Gods!

Yesterday the second episode of G.R.R. Martin's Song of Fire and Ice debuted on HBO and while I'm digging the show as a pretty good adaptation to the book, I'm more concerned about other things in the pipe line at the premium network.

Namely, the chance that we'll get to see American Gods on the network.
As HBO prepares to unveil its epic-sized series adaptation of George RR Martin's Game of Thrones this Sunday, the payweb has begun talks to acquire the Neil Gaiman novel American Gods to be developed into another fantasy series. The project was brought to HBO by Playtone partners Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman, and it was brought to them by Robert Richardson. The plan is for Richardson and Gaiman to write the pilot together.

Richardson is the renowned cinematographer who just completed Hugo Cabret and whose recent credits include Shutter Island, Inglourious Basterds and Kill Bill. He is a regular collaborator with directors that include Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino and Oliver Stone and has won Oscars for The Aviator and JFK. It is his first significant scripting effort. He'll do it in collaboration with Gaiman, a fanboy god for works like The Sandman, whose script work includes Beowulf.
It's pretty clear that nothing is set in stone just yet, but this piece of news got me really excited as a Gaiman fan.

American Gods would really lend itself well to a long-term TV and to not being on network television. Not to mention that Richardson's work pedigree is fantastic all around.

If this goes through then having this story on HBO means he can do whatever he needs to as far as maturity rating goes. Since the book does cover a lot of material... a lot of which would not be very network or even basic cable friendly, this will have huge advantages.

Then again, they will probably just tack on a lot of meaningless nudity for the sake of nudity like they did with Game of Thrones. Which I guess after True Blood, they just went completely gun-ho about it hoping to appeal to that audience.

The chapters in the book themselves would really lend themselves very well to a miniseries. I do wonder though, that casting would be the most difficult aspect of this. I always pictured Shadow to be this big dude who you really didn't want to mess with. No idea who could really play that off very well.

Mr. Nancy coule go to Malcolm McDowell easily and LOKI could be played by Eddie Izzard with ease. You could always default to Morgan Freeman as Anansi.

For those of you who don't know the story, the basic premise of it is that it follows Shadow Moon, an ex con who was just released from prison and he ends up in the employment of the enigmatic Mr. Wednesday and enters the underside of America, where it turns out Gods of every religion are real.

Shadow's crisis crosses the country learning about the various gods and what exactly life means for a deity of a dead religion as well as an impending war between the old and new gods. Many of which are gods of things you wouldn't expect, such as the internet and rock and roll and what not. It's a really interesting concept on what it means to be something worshiped and what happens when those worshiping simply stop.

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