Neil Gaiman isn’t busy enough. Apparently. The author turned movie and television writer and sometimes producer and director, is adapting his wildly popular novel, “American Gods,” for television. And he’s teaming up with Tom Hanks to do it. Maybe they are bosom buddies? (Sorry.) Gaiman hasn’t written a full television series since 1996’s “Neverwhere,” but he has been polishing his television writing chops lately by scribing a particularly excellent episode of Doctor Who, “The Doctor’s Wife.”
But fans of the author have long hoped for a cinematic version of “American Gods,” an ambitious and richly told tale that spans millenia and brings classic mythological figures from Greek, Judeo-Christian, and Norse mythology into the modern era. Now, Tom Hanks’ Playtone Productions is set to produce an open-ended series based on the book for HBO. It’s hard to think of a more appropriate home for the dark and frequently risque tale than the channel that brings you “Game of Thrones.” Plus, there are few cable channels willing to cough up a rumored $30-50 million budget per season. Producer Gary Goetzman seems to think it will be necessary to do the story justice, which is believable. If you were trying to create god (or gods) on screen, wouldn’t you want a pretty big effects budget for all those god beams and acts of divine power?
The show isn’t expected to air until 2013, so until then watch “Coraline” again and watch this video of Neil Gaiman reading from “American Gods” to tide you over: