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Fantasy Novel ‘American Gods’ Being Developed As Drama Series By FremantleMedia

By | Monday February 3, 2014 @ 1:57pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

American_godsEXCLUSIVE: Acclaimed urban fantasy novel American Gods is headed to television. FremantleMedia North America has acquired the rights to the book by Neil Gaiman, creator of the popular Sandman comic. Gaiman will executive produce the potential American Gods series with FMNA. The 2001 novel has been translated into over 30 languages and has earned Hugo, Nebula and Bram Stoker Awards for Best Novel. In American Gods, a war is 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. The story centers on Shadow Moon, 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. Read More »

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Joseph Gordon-Levitt Eyeing ‘Sandman’ As Director And Star, Producing With David Goyer At Warner Bros

By | Monday December 16, 2013 @ 3:25pm PST
Mike Fleming

jglevEXCLUSIVE: Joseph Gordon-Levitt is finalizing a deal to produce Sandman at Warner Bros with David Goyer, who pitched his treatment for the Neil Gaiman comic book classic. It has been rumored that Gordon-Levitt might star, and the deal he’s making attaches him as the protagonist. I’m told that in addition to that, he’s eyeing the project as a directing vehicle. Gordon-Levitt made his feature directorial debut on the well received Sundance pic Don Jon, but this would be a considerable step up in scope and scale. They will hire a writer shortly.

sandmanThe Sandman series shifts between horror and fantasy, and the central character is Morpheus, the personification of dreams. After being held captive 70 years, Morpheus escapes, gains revenge and rebuilds his crumbling kingdom while trying to adapt to the times. Warner Bros has tried for some time to get a script right, but they may have finally cracked it. Gordon-Levitt appeared to end The Dark Knight Rises as heir apparent to the Batsuit, but obviously they have gone another way and set Ben Affleck as the Caped Crusader in Batman Vs. Superman. Warner Bros is high on Gordon-Levitt after he starred in the Batfilm and Inception, and this would be a highly original potential franchise, if Goyer, Gordon-Levitt and Warner Bros could pull it off. It has that cool factor like Looper did. Gordon-Levitt next … Read More »

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Focus Features, Playtone Acquire Neil Gaiman’s New Novel For Joe Wright To Helm

By | Thursday February 28, 2013 @ 4:39pm PST
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Focus Features and Playtone partners Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman are closing a deal to acquire the new Neil Gaiman novel The Ocean At The End Of The Lane. Joe Wright is being attached to direct, and his Shoebox Films partner Paul Webster is coming aboard to produce with Hanks and Goetzman. The film will be a co-production between Playtone and Shoebox.

The Ocean At The End of the Lane will be published in June by William Morrow. According to jacket copy, it’s about about memory and magic and survival, about the power of stories and the darkness inside each of us. The narrator describes a tale that begins when he was seven and a lodger stole the family’s car and committed suicide in it, stirring up ancient powers best left undisturbed. Creatures from beyond the world are on the loose, and it will take everything our narrator has just to stay alive: there is primal horror here, and a menace unleashed — within his family, and from the forces that have gathered to destroy it. His only defense is three women, on a ramshackle farm at the end of the lane. The youngest of them claims that her duckpond is an ocean. The oldest can remember the Big Bang. Read More »

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Neil Gaiman To Pen Upcoming ‘Doctor Who’ Episode That Marks Return Of The Cybermen

By | Wednesday November 7, 2012 @ 4:53am PST

Author Neil Gaiman won a Hugo Award for his last Doctor Who episode, 2011′s The Doctor’s Wife. Series exec producer Steven Moffat has now confirmed that Gaiman will script an episode of the current season that features the return of the Cybermen — notorious cyborg enemies of the Time Lord since 1966. (They were last seen in 2011′s Closing Time.) The episode will air next spring and also co-star Life’s Too Short‘s Warwick Davis, EastEnders‘ Tamzin Outhwaite and Being Human‘s Jason Watkins. Stephen Woolfenden, a second unit director on some of the Harry Potter films, is helming the episode. Read More »

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Comic-Con: Neil Gaiman To Write New ‘Sandman’ Series

By | Thursday July 12, 2012 @ 10:51pm PDT

Author Neil Gaiman will collaborate with artist J.H. Williams III (Batwoman) on a new limited series based on his classic graphic novel The Sandman for the DC Entertainment Vertigo imprint. Gaiman made the surprise announcement via video during the Vertigo panel at Comic-Con. The Sandman miniseries will be published in 2013. Gaiman said he felt “there was one tale still untold” for The Sandman. With Sandman‘s 25th anniversary coming up, Gaiman said the time was right. Each issue of The Sandman mini-series will be published day-and-date digitally. The title will be announced later. Gaiman’s work includes the books on which the stop-motion animated feature Coraline was based as well as HBO’s upcoming American Gods. A movie based on his The Graveyard Book is in the works at Disney. Paramount made a 2007 movie based on his Stardust.

Related: Henry Selick To Direct Neil Gaiman’s ‘The Graveyard Book’ In Disney Deal

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Henry Selick To Direct Neil Gaiman’s ‘The Graveyard Book’ In Disney Deal

By | Friday April 27, 2012 @ 7:08pm PDT
Mike Fleming

UPDATE: This Disney deal for Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book keeps getting more interesting. I’ve learned that Henry Selick, who helmed Gaiman’s Coraline, is now attached to direct The Graveyard Book at Disney. Selick, best known for Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas and Roald Dahl’s James and the Giant Peach, is already working for Disney-based Pixar on a top secret film. But he’ll do this one after. Selick is repped by The Gotham Group. They are looking for a screenwriter now.

EARLIER EXCLUSIVE, 2:54 PM: Disney just made a high six-figure deal for The Graveyard Book, the bestselling children’s title by Neil Gaiman. The book, which won the Newbery Medal among other awards, is a riff on Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book. Instead of a boy raised by wolves in the jungle, Gaiman tells the story of the surviving child of a murdered family raised by ghosts in a graveyard. Gaiman’s works include Coraline, The Sandman and American Gods.

The book attracted attention at every studio upon release, and it was optioned for a large fee by UK Effects House Framestore, along with Wayfare’s Ben Browning. They had Neil Jordan attached to direct, but never got it off the ground, even though they kept renewing the option. Disney production chief Sean Bailey stepped in, and won the title in a competitive bidding situation with other … Read More »

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Playtone Setting Neil Gaiman’s ‘American Gods’ For HBO Series

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: As HBO prepares to unveil its epic-sized series adaptation of George RR Martin’s Game of Thrones this Sunday, the payweb has begun talks to acquire the Neil Gaiman novel American Gods to be developed into another fantasy series. The project was brought to HBO by Playtone partners Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman, and it was brought to them by Robert Richardson. The plan is for Richardson and Gaiman to write the pilot together.

Richardson is the renowned cinematographer who just completed Hugo Cabret and whose recent credits include Shutter Island, Inglourious Basterds and Kill Bill. He is a regular collaborator with directors that include Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino and Oliver Stone and has won Oscars for The Aviator and JFK. It is his first significant scripting effort. He’ll do it in collaboration with Gaiman, a fanboy god for works like The Sandman, whose script work includes Beowulf. His novels Stardust and Coraline have been turned into films, and Neil Jordan is directing an adaption of Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book.

American Gods, the 2002 book that won both the Stoker and Hugo Award among other prizes, lays out a battle between two sets of gods. One consists of the traditional gods and mythological creatures who got their power because people throughout history believed in them. They are losing steam as people’s beliefs wane and are in danger of being supplanted by a new set of gods who  reflect America’s preoccupation with technological … Read More »

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A Post Comic-Con Wish List of 15 Films The Geek Crowd Really Wants To See

Mike Fleming

Studios brought stars and film clips to Comic-Con, seeking geek love for all of its superhero and fantasy projects. While they’re paying attention, how about some of the more ambitious films these die-hards have waited years to see? After numerous conversations with agents, writers and studio execs who orbit the geek periphery, I’ve culled the 15 that came up most often. Some of these will happen soon, others might never emerge from development hell, a few might be just too tough to crack in a two-hour time frame. Given the glut of Comic-Con superhero projects, there’s a refreshing lack of capes. Here they are, in no particular order.

  • Warcraft.  Legendary Pictures and Warner Bros have been working on the project since last summer with Sam Raimi. When Spider-Man imploded, it looked like his next movie. Until Disney tempted him with a big paycheck as it tries for another Alice in Wonderland bonanza with its Great and Powerful Oz prequel. Raimi’s next slot is  now a race between the two projects to get scripts right and lock in stars (Disney wants Robert Downey Jr., but he doesn’t like the scripts he’s seen so far).  The Blizzard Entertainment Warcraft vidgame revolves around an epic conflict between the Horde and the Alliance. The game’s global following makes it the kind of branded property that compels studios to take big-budget risks. There is also
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