Neil Gaiman fans have something to smile about. While news (or lack thereof) about the stalled Sandman television adaptation was a huge bummer, THR is reporting that there's a Tom Hanks/HBO series heading our way soon based on Neil Gaiman's award-winning fantasy novel, American Gods. Hanks' Playtone Productions will be issuing six seasons, " … each season will be of 10-12, hour-long episodes with a budget of around $35-40 million per season."
Company partner Gary Goetzman is promising, "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." That sounds hopeful – and if anyone can do it justice, it would be HBO who have been on a roll lately with the effects-heavy Game of Thrones and other recent successes like Boardwalk Empire. The mythology laden, road-trip adaptation will revolve around the question, "Are you a god if no one believes in you?"
Before they can get started, however, Playtone has a $100 million live-action, 3-D project to tackle, based on Mattel action figure Major Matt Mason. Frequent collaborator Robert Zemeckis is in talks to direct, while Hanks will star in and produce the family space adventure. After they clear the decks, the studio is hoping to release another successful stage-to-screen story (using the Playtone-produced Mamma Mia! as their guide) of Green Day's concept album turned musical, American Idiot. The company has their hands full and are promising big things, so here's hoping it all comes together by 2013 when Hanks hopes to debut the deities on the cable giant.