When we first heard that Neil Gaiman’s American Gods was being considered as an HBO series we, like many other fans we ecstatic. This author even went so far as to pick up the novel and give it a read in anticipation. But months later after musings from the author hismself and several reports that the series was, in fact moving forward we got the news that American Gods would not be an HBO series in the end.
This week Vulture published a “party chat” with HBO’s President of Programming, Michael Lombardo where he commented on the cancellation:
Vulture: I was sad when HBO lost the option on American Gods.
Michael Lombardo: We were as well.
I think we’re all huge fans of the book, and I think the script just didn’t — we couldn’t craft the script as good as we needed it to be. I think we knew going in that it would be a challenge; every good book is a challenge to adapt it and find the level you need for it. The bar is high now for great dramas. And to find that bar — we tried. So it was a huge disappointment […] We tried three different writers, we put a lot of effort into it. Some things just don’t happen. We have to trust at the end of the day, if you don’t have a star with a great script, you’re just not going to go through with it.
Even though we love the book, we love the idea, we love the hope of what it could be, we just couldn’t get it right.
HBOWatch: Well, we can’t argue with that. If it wasn’t going to work then it wasn’t going to work and we’re glad HBO has the taste and.. ahem.. balls to cut material when it doesn’t meet a particular quality bar. Having read the novel myself it would have been exciting to see how HBO pulled it off but the content would have been challenging to bring to screen in a convincing and seamless way.
He also commented on the just announced Sci-Fi series from Darren Aronofsky in the same interview:
At this point, we’ve recently entered into an agreement with Darren [Aronofsky] to develop stuff for us. We’re very excited about it. This is the first thing he indicated real interest in, so we’ve begun the development process with him. It’s a long way off. But it’s exciting to start doing something with Darren. I’m a huge fan, and we’re finally sitting down and working together.
Like, years off?
You know what, I always hesitate. Some scripts come in, within months they’re ready to shoot; others take two years before you find the right — so at this point, we’re looking for the right writer. I’m excited about it.
Not much info there but it’s good to know that this project is moving forward in earnest as opposed to American Gods which never really got off the ground. We’ll bring you all the latest on HBO series in development as we get it.