Starz Picks Up Neil Gaiman's 'American Gods' to Series

American Gods Cover Bryan Fuller Inset - P 2014
Todd Williamson/Invision for Producers Guild of America/AP Images

American Gods Cover Bryan Fuller Inset - P 2014

Neil Gaiman's American Gods is officially coming to the small screen.

Starz has picked up FremantleMedia North America's adaptation of the urban fantasy novel to series, the pay cable network announced Tuesday.

The drama centers on a war brewing between old and new gods: the traditional gods of biblical and mythological roots from around the world steadily losing believers to an upstart pantheon of gods reflecting society’s modern love of money, technology, media, celebrity and drugs. Its protagonist, Shadow Moon, is 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 for a battle with the new deities. The 2001 award-winning novel has been translated into more than 30 languages.

Bryan Fuller (Hannibal) and Michael Green (The River, Heroes) are on board as writers and showrunners. The duo will also executive produce, along with FremantleMedia North America's Craig Cegielski and Stefanie Berk and Gaiman. Starz vp original programming Ken Segna will oversee for the cabler, which will retain all network pay TV and SVOD rights to the project. FremantleMedia will distribute the series worldwide.

The project previously was in development with a different creative team at HBO, which passed on it. Start of production is dependent on casting the lead role of Shadow Moon.

“Starz is committed to bring American Gods to its legions of fans," said Starz CEO Chris Albrecht. "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!”

Added Gaiman: "I am thrilled, ‎scared, delighted, nervous and a ball of glorious anticipation. 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 ..."

At Starz, American God joins a roster of original scripted dramas that currently includes Black Sails, Da Vinci's Demons, Flesh and Bone, The Missing, Outlander and Power. The cabler has also the upcoming drama The One Percent from Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (Birdman).