Neil Gaiman’s ‘American Gods’ Adaptation Gets Greenlight From Starz

Bryan Fuller and Michael Green to serve as showrunners, while Gaiman will act as executive producer

After picking up rights to the novel a year ago, Starz has given a greenlight to its straight-to-series adaptation of Neil Gaiman‘s “American Gods,” with Bryan Fuller and Michael Green on board to write and act as showrunners, the premium cable network announced Tuesday.

Start of production is dependent upon the casting of lead character Shadow Moon. Fuller had previously hinted that Gaiman hopes to announce a key number of cast members at Comic-Con.

“Starz is committed to bring ‘American Gods’ to its legions of fans,” said CEO Chris Albrecht in a statement. “With our partners at FremantleMedia and with Bryan, Michael and Neil guiding the project, we hope to create a series that honors the book and does right by the fans, who have been casting it in their minds for years. The search for Shadow begins today!”

“American Gods” portrays a war between the old gods of biblical and mythological roots and a new group of gods “reflecting society’s modern love of money, technology, media, celebrity and drugs.”

The story’s lead character Shadow is described as “an ex-con who becomes bodyguard and traveling partner to Mr. Wednesday, a conman but in reality one of the older gods, on a cross-country mission to gather his forces in preparation to battle the new deities.”

“I am thrilled, ‎scared, delighted, nervous and a ball of glorious anticipation,” said Gaiman, who will also act as an executive producer on the series. “The team that is going to bring the world of American Gods to the screen has been assembled like the master criminals in a caper movie: I’m relieved and confident that my baby is in good hands. Now we finally move to the exciting business that fans have been doing for the last dozen years: casting our Shadow, our Wednesday, our Laura…”

FremantleMedia North America’s Thom Beers, Craig Cegielski and Stefanie Berk will executive produce the series along with Fuller, Green and Gaiman.

Vice President of Original Programming Ken Segna will be the Starz executive in charge of “American Gods.” Starz will retain all network pay-TV and subscription VOD rights to the project. FremantleMedia will distribute the series worldwide.

Gaiman’s 2001 novel has been translated into more than 30 languages and earned numerous awards including a Hugo, Nebula and a Bram Stoker Award for Best Novel.

“American Gods” represents FMNA’s continued push into scripted programming. It’s also currently in production on “The Returned,” an American adaptation of the French series, for A&E. The company is best known in the U.S. for its nonfiction fare, including “The X Factor” and “America’s Got Talent.”