According to The Hollywood Reporter, HBO is developing Neil Gaiman’s 2001 novel American Gods into a drama series, potentially adding it to a growing lineup of pure fantasy shows that includes True Blood, Game Of Thrones, and all those upcoming Sex And The City clones. Gaiman’s is typically steeped in big ideas, telling the story of an epic battle between the Old Gods of ancient, far-flung mythology and the New Gods that have arisen through America’s idle worship of celebrity, technology, and the media, among other things. Their struggle is seen through the eyes of an ex-convict named Shadow, who accepts a job working as a bodyguard for a con man, then travels the country running into various deities—a meandering, episodic structure that frustrated some readers of the book, but which could actually translate well to a weekly series.
And even better for HBO, there’s plenty of sex: Fertility goddesses and succubi abound, while Shadow’s boss spends most of his time on the road deflowering virgins, so this has all the makings of a True Blood-style hit if they decide to go that route. Of course, the show is being produced by Tom Hanks’ Playtone company (Big Love, The Pacific) who may be slightly more interested in questions of belief and American identity, with only the occasional stop to get it on. However they approach it, here’s hoping this series has more success finally getting off the ground than The Sandman.