It was announced in April that Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman’s Playtone shingle was developing Neil Gaiman’s “American Gods” as a possible HBO series, but in a new interview, more details have emerged on their hopes for the project.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Goetzman explained that their approach to “American Gods” is to turn it into a six-season series of 10-to-12 episodes per season, with a per-season budget of $35-40 million. That’s an ambitious plan for a series that hasn’t even been formally sent to pilot yet (much less to series) and which couldn’t premiere on HBO until 2013 at the very earliest.
Hanks and Goetzman, who successfully navigated the even-more-ambitious (in budget and scope, if not length) “Band of Brothers” and “The Pacific” for HBO, will executive produce along with Bob Richardson and Gaiman, also a writer on the project.
“American Gods” was published in 2001 and focuses on a newly released prisoner named Shadow, who takes a job with the mysterious Mr. Wednesday and goes on a cross-country journey of discovery. The conceit is that all of the gods and deities people believe in are real, and powered by that belief. In a 21st Century America in which people prefer to worship the New Gods like celebrity or technology, the Old Gods are dying out. Conflict ensues.
“There are some crazy things in there. We”ll probably be doing more effects in there than it”s been done on a television series,” Goetzman tells THR.
Up next for the shingle is the Hanks-directed “Larry Crowne.”