Neil Gaiman’s ‘American Gods’ Epic At HBO

American Gods, the 2002 novel by hugely popular and talented science fiction/ fantasy novelist Neil Gaiman has been picked up by revolutionary network HBO for development as a series after it was successfully pitched by Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman’s Playtone company who have previously created such groundbreaking series as Band of Brothers and The Pacific.

HBO and Playtone know how to create epic, involving and grown up television and the themes touched upon in American Gods are suited perfectly as it delves into the dark heart of America, it’s belief system and redemption. HBO adds to the epic fantasy roster which recently delivered an adaptation of George R. R. Martin‘s Game Of Thrones starring Sean Bean to huge critical acclaim.

The story involves warring Gods from two different backgrounds. There are those Gods and monsters steeped in tradition and belief that need the faith of the people to survive and the new Gods who revolve around themes of decadance, drugs and technology. It’s clear to see this is an analogy for the apparent advances of humankind and how it might bring the world into chaos and depravity. We follow a mysterious character called Shadow as he’s released from prison and ventures through America with Mr. Wednesday who may or may not have his own agenda.

The story is full of characters from myth, religions, legends and even cameos from Gaiman’s other works such as Sandman. It’s dark, twisted, epic and hugely imaginative and should make for quite a show.

Gaiman is set to co-write with Robert Richardson who is most notable as cinematographer behind such visually stunning films as Kill Bill, Inglourious Basterds, Shutter Island and Platoon. He won Oscars for The Aviator and JFK. It will be interesting to see how he fares as a script writer but with Gaiman on board, who’s work has already been on screen in the form of Coraline and Stardust, we can be sure this dark, twisted, epic vision will break new boundaries in the world of television.

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