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American Gods Strides Out of Development Hell, Good Omens Staring Wistfully After It

old gods do new jobs

Two items for fans of Neil Gaiman stories about anthropomorphic personifications: Good Omens is not yet completely lost, and American Gods has a new production studio and looks to be getting a new lease on televised life.

Three months ago author Neil Gaiman confirmed that an adaptation of his best selling novel American Gods was no longer in development at HBO, because, in my educated opinion, HBO momentarily decided it was allergic to money. Or maybe it had balked at the idea of a special effects heavy miniseries that represented (a supernatural, granted) America through the eyes of a biracial main character?

Well, anyway, the torch has been picked up by FreemantleMedia, a European production company most known for producing a variety of the biggest programs in reality television (Project Runway, X Factor, the various international Idol programs), but their most recent well known success in scripted television would probably be Merlin. According to Deadline, Gaiman will executive produce the adaptation, and with him holding full rights over his own novel, I imagine that we will definitely be seeing the racially diverse cast of the book realized on screen.

Another Gaiman project, however, is still languishing in the Doldrums of development hell, with the barest mention keeping it from being consigned to the “not currently happening” box. Terry Gilliam is still pushing a Good Omens adaptation around for producers and studios. But he has one ray of comfort for fans: if he can’t get it made as a movie, he’s open to doing it as a miniseries. He told Indiewire:

I did talk to Terry Pratchett’s people and to Neil about getting it going again. I thought it might be perfect thing for maybe six-part TV, because then we could do the whole book. I mean, we had to make the [book’s subplot about the] Four Horsemen into something much more condensed.

A miniseries would indeed probably be the most enjoyable format for fans, and possibly new fans: as a collaboration between Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, there’s a lot of detail and small jokes in the book that would be a pity to lose.

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