The long-gestating TV adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s epic urban fantasy novel AMERICAN GODS has taken another tentative step towards becoming a reality with the announcement that Bryan Fuller will be developing the show for premium cable channel Starz (also the home of SPARTACUS, DA VINCI'S DEMONS and BLACK SAILS). The project previously existed in various states of development hell for over two years at HBO, before eventually being abandoned when the network’s option on the book expired. Fuller, currently riding high on the success of HANNIBAL, has previous genre standing from creating cult favourites such as whimsical fantasies WONDERFALLS, PUSHING DAISIES and black comedy DEAD LIKE ME. Joining him in showrunning duties will be Michael Green (SMALLVILLE; HEROES; GREEN LANTERN)
Much like Gaiman’s seminal comic saga SANDMAN, in the world of AMERICAN GODS every religion and every folklore tale is true, along with the supernatural entities that populate them who exist alongside one another without contradiction or paradox. Given life in America by the old world beliefs of the country’s perpetual influx of immigrants, these gods are separate entities from those that still exist in the various motherlands, and can have altered personalities due to the difference of the American landscape and its people.
The novel’s plot follows a mysterious and taciturn man named Shadow, who soon after his release from prison meets the enigmatic Mr Wednesday (America’s aspect of chief Norse deity Odin, brought by the Vikings during their exploration to the continent around the turn of the 11th Century) and together they travel through the metaphorical and literal heart of America. Along the way they meet dozens of gods, such as Slavic darkness deity Czernobog and West African spider-man trickster Anansi, whose powers and presence are waning due to dwindling numbers of people believing in them, and who Wednesday attempts to rally to his cause. A war continually threatens to break out between the old gods of dying cultures and the new gods of the information age, and if Wednesday cannot prevent it, he at least wants to gather enough support to be on the winning side.
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