Exclusive: How Involved is Neil Gaiman in the ‘American Gods’ TV Series?

Executive producer Bryan Fuller tells us the schedule for the show, how it's being adapted, and whether 'Anansi Boys' will be included.

William Bibbianiby William Bibbiani

file_169429_0_American Gods

It's been two months since executive producer Bryan Fuller ("Hannibal") was officially attached to "American Gods," the upcoming STARZ television series based on the popular fantasy novel by award-winning author Neil Gaiman. Since then we've heard little about the project. We know Fuller is executive producing with his fellow "Heroes" alumni Michael Green, and we assume the series will follow the book's main characters, Shadow and Wednesday, a messenger of and one of the "American Gods" respectively, but how will Fuller and Green adapt this book into a series, and how involved will Neil Gaiman be in the development?

"Right now we are breaking the third episode, and then if it does go, it would start filming sometime mid-to-late 2015 and probably wouldn’t be on anybody’s television until 2016. But that’s cruising along very nicely," Bryan Fuller told CraveOnline. 

When asked whether the series would follow the events of "American Gods" closely, like HBO's "Game of Thrones," or use them as a jumping off point, Bryan Fuller elaborated: "It’s basically the following the events of the books but expanding those events, and expanding the point of view to go above and beyond Shadow and Wednesday. In that way, as with 'Game of Thrones,' there are dozens of characters that you’re tracking through the events and that’s probably the biggest similarities between the worlds, in that there’s a wide variety of characters at play."

Related: Bryan Fuller Talks 'Hannibal' at Comic-Con 2014 (Video)

But will the "American Gods" series also include events and characters from the novel's follow-up, Anansi Boys? Fuller says, "I believe that we have permission to use – since Anansi Boys are in the world of American Gods – that we would be allowed to use those as well."

And how involved will Neil Gaiman be in the development of "American Gods?" Will he be as active as George R.R. Martin is with "Game of Thrones?"

"Neil’s executive producing and he’s very involved. He’s given birth to the baby, raised to the baby, and now Michael Green and I are marrying the baby. [...] So the relationship is similar in that way, where he is absolutely integral to the process and also very excited just to see it coming together in the fashion that it is."

But the real question is, with Neil Gaiman writing television now (including two episodes of BBC's "Doctor Who"), will he write any episodes himself?

"He'd better," jokes Bryan Fuller. "He'd god damn well better."

Our complete interview with executive producer Bryan Fuller about Season 2 and Season 3 of "Hannibal" is coming soon at CraveOnline. The Blu-ray of "Hannibal: Season 2" hits stores on September 16, 2014. 


William Bibbiani is the editor of CraveOnline's Film Channel and the host of The B-Movies Podcast and The Blue Movies Podcast. Follow him on Twitter at @WilliamBibbiani.