Amazon Takes Starz's 'American Gods' for U.K., Germany, Japan

American Gods S01E01 Still - Publicity - H 2016
Jan Thijs/Freemantle Media

American Gods S01E01 Still - Publicity - H 2016

The epic fantasy series is based on Neil Gaiman's best-seller about a war between old and new gods taking place in modern-day America.

In one of its biggest international TV deals to date, Amazon has snatched up rights to Starz's epic fantasy series American Gods in multiple territories, including the U.K., Germany, Austria and Japan.

The deal, announced Wednesday by Amazon and sales group FremantleMedia International, will see American Gods launch exclusively on the Amazon Prime streaming service in those countries in 2017.

Based on the best-selling novel by cult author Neil Gaiman (The Sandman, Coraline), American Gods is one of the most hotly anticipated new shows among fantasy fans. The plot is centered on a war brewing between the old gods, including their leader Mr. Wednesday (Ian McShane), and the new gods, headed by Media (Gillian Anderson). Ricky Whittle stars as Shadow Moon, an ex-con who gets caught up in the epic battle. Emily Browning co-stars as Shadow's wife, Laura Moon.

FremantleMedia North America is producing American Gods for Starz with Heroes veterans Bryan Fuller and Michael Green as writers and showrunners. David Slade (Hannibal) is directing the series pilot and additional episodes. Fuller, Green, Slade and Gaiman are executive producers along with FremantleMedia North America's Craig Cegielski and Stefanie Berk. FremantleMedia International is handling worldwide sales.

Brad Beale, vp worldwide television acquisition for Amazon, called American Gods “one of the most ambitious new television series coming out in 2017” and said the show fits nicely among Amazon Prime's roster of original and, in select territories, exclusively acquired content, which includes the likes of Mr. Robot, Preacher and The Man in the High Castle.

While Amazon Prime does not yet have the global reach of Netflix, the streaming service is strong in several select territories. In German-speaking Europe, where it launched ahead of Netflix, Amazon is the market leader in subscription VOD services.