The AV Club cuts to the gist of the story...
Starz has partnered with Fremantle and executive producers Gaiman, Bryan Fuller, and Michael Green to develop a series based on the 2001 novel about Old World gods struggling to exist in the modern era—a time when their powers have waned thanks to being supplanted by newer deities with greater charisma, such as the acne-ridden teenager who rules the Internet.
In a press release from Fremantle media, Gaiman showers praise upon his fan community...
Commented Neil Gaiman, "When you create something like ‘American Gods,’ which attracts fans and obsessives and people who tattoo quotes from it on themselves or each other, and who all, tattooed or not, just care about it deeply, it's really important to pick your team carefully: you don't want to let the fans down, or the people who care and have been casting it online since the dawn of recorded history. What I love most about the team who I trust to take it out to the world, is that they are the same kind of fanatics that ’American Gods’ has attracted since the start. I haven't actually checked Bryan Fuller or Michael Green for quote tattoos, but I would not be surprised if they have them. The people at Fremantle are the kinds of people who have copies of ‘American Gods in the bottom of their backpacks after going around the world, and who press them on their friends. And the team at Starz have been quite certain that they wanted to give Shadow, Wednesday and Laura a home since they first heard that the book was out there. I can't wait to see what they do to bring the story to the widest possible audience able to cope with it."
The press release also has a more precise statement of what 'American Gods' is, for the uninitiated...
The 2001 novel has been translated into over 30 languages and earned numerous accolades including Hugo, Nebula and Bram Stoker Awards for Best Novel. The plot posits a war 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. Its protagonist, Shadow Moon, is 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.
Screenrant speculates on the creative dynamic of a Gaiman/Fuller collaboration...
Gaiman’s source book, like the Hannibal show, blends together horror, bleak comedy, and poignant drama; American Gods also explores dark fantasy genre territory in a fashion that’s often poetic and heavy (though not overbearingly so) on the symbolism, recalling how Hannibal utilizes dream logic in order to rise above its crime investigation drama elements. That bodes quite well for Green and Fuller’s televisual rendition of Gaiman’s work – not least of all, because the pair will now be afforded the greater creative freedom that comes with working in cable television.
'American Gods' fan art on DeviantArt