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Tom Hanks Produces American Gods on HBO
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found this article on facebook, you guys know the most, is it actually going to happen?


Tom Hanks' Playtone Productions Announces Neil Gaiman's 'American Gods,' Mattel's 'Major Matt Mason,' Green Day's 'American Idiot' (Exclusive)

Gary Goetzman talks to THR about three high-power projects ahead of "Larry Crowne's" premiere at ScreenSingapore.

SINGAPORE – Tom Hanks’ Playtone Productions is set to produce an open-ended series, American Gods, for HBO, based on Neil Gaiman’s award-winning novel, while the company’s next project, Major Matt Mason, is in talks with Robert Zemeckis to direct in 3D, Playtone partner Gary Goetzman told The Hollywood Reporter.

The series-in-development, revolving around the question “are you a god if no one believes in you?” is executive produced by Goetzman and Hanks, with Bob Richardson, and Gaiman on board as executive producer and writer.

Now slated for six seasons, each season will be of 10-12, hour-long episodes with a budget of around $35-40 million per season, targeted to debut on the cable powerhouse in 2013 at the earliest.

Rich in religious folklore that spanned millennia and featuring deities from Greek and Nordic mythology, and even the Judeo-Christian monotheistic God making an appearance, in the contemporary U.S., American Gods will be effects-heavy to do justice to the awe-inspiring power of the divine beings. “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,” said Goetzman.

But materializing much sooner than the deities on earth series will be Playtone’s next Hanks-starring project, the toy-to-screen Major Matt Mason, in 3D.

The producers are in talks with frequent Hanks collaborator in Forrest Gump and The Polar Express, Robert Zemeckis, to direct a screenplay written by Hanks and Graham Yost for Universal.

The live-action family film about space adventure, with a tentative budget of over $100 million, is based on a Mattel action figure. It would be the second 3D production for Playtone, which produced with Imax in 2005 the documentary Magnificent Desolation: Walking on the Moon 3D, co-written, co-produced and narrated by Hanks.

After the gods and the space adventurer comes the idiot. Besides American Gods, Playtone is also developing American Idiot, a screen version of the Broadway musical adapted from Green Day’s eponymous concept album, for 2013 premiere.

Director Michael Mayer of the stage version will direct the movie, while Billie Joe Armstrong will reprise his Broadway role as St. Jimmy in the movie version. The adaptation is Playtone’s second musical after the blockbuster hit, Mamma Mia!, which grossed over $600 million worldwide.

“Mamma Mia! proved that if the musical is right, obviously it can go into the stratosphere, as far as box office gross. We’re always looking for musicals,” said Goetzman, whose company also owns the films rights of Spring Awakening, which the partners are planning to produce in an independent way.

“If we can do that, it’d be a genre that’s as respected as any produced by the studios. Maybe there will be three musicals a year, maybe five. I think that’s important otherwise we’d just have this tentpole mentality where if it’s not based on a comic book or cost $200 million, you're stacked in like pillars. We need all these genres to be respected and we need the studios not to be afraid of them,” he said.

“Studios are afraid of adult movies for a couple of years now, but I felt at the end of last year with The King’s Speech and so many films that did well, they might wake up the studios up with the fact that the adult drama can still be a viable picture to make. You can’t just cut down the film business to horror films, tentpole action, and really stupid comedies. You’ve got to do other stuff. As we know, the film business is always in a state of flux anyway, so it’s in their best interest to understand that whatever you think that’s the greatest kind of movie to make, it will change,” adds Goetzman.

Goetzman and Hanks are in Singapore for the closing night premiere of Larry Crowne at ScreenSingapore.

The comedy, which Hanks wrote along with Nia Vardalos and starred in with his Charlie Wilson’s War co-star Julia Roberts, is the first feature film Hanks directed since 1996’s That Thing You Do! The film is scheduled for release on July 1, which serves as counter-programming to the superhero blockbuster summer season from Independence Day weekend.

“I really feel like more people are going to the movies that don’t necessarily want to see a superhero picture, and this gives them a great alternative to go to see two big movies star in a fun romantic comedy, rooted in real issues but still entertaining,’ said Goetzman.

The issues are indeed real and they certainly seem bleak – Hanks’ store staff character goes to college after he was made redundant; Roberts’ character, who became Hanks’ teacher in college, resorted to drinking, having to face crowds of ignorant and apathetic students – a premise that might seem too close to home in recession bound America.

“It’s a line that Tom had to ride in writing it that it was a subject that is in America and in many parts of the world right now, but the best way to tell a story sometimes is with humor. There’s so much humor and hope in it, and good feelings about it, he accomplished that in that it’s a story that’s rooted in reality, but still a very fun movie. Sometimes we just have to say, ‘hey, you know what? You’re gonna work it out. It’s not going to go away tomorrow, but stay out there, and be hopeful, buy a scooter!”

"Never meddle in the affairs of dragons for humans are crunchy and taste good with ketchup."
Posts: 27 | Location: Victorville, CA, USA | Registered: March 20, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I can't confirm all of the details that you've posted, but it's really happening.

I prefer to live in a country that's small, and old, and where no one would ever have the NERVE to wear a cape in public, whether they could leap tall buildings in a single bound or not.

the parrot... ...gets tiresome.
the parrot... ...i ate him.

Posts: 20599 | Location: England | Registered: June 21, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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we get a longer american gods book, a tv series produced by tom hanks, and another book?! win!

"Never meddle in the affairs of dragons for humans are crunchy and taste good with ketchup."
Posts: 27 | Location: Victorville, CA, USA | Registered: March 20, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
half the man he used to be
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an american idiot movie?!?! horrible!
Posts: 411 | Registered: May 11, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Recovering catnip addict, (yahr)
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If they keep it up like GoT, then yes please!

Well we all shine on, like the moon and the stars and the sun...

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Posts: 2546 | Location: LaLa Land, USA | Registered: January 04, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Tori lookalike contest winner, 2001
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I'm am beyond geeking out at the prospect of this show and a second book. I'm very surprised there aren't more people here posting about the upcoming series and book. It makes me a bit sad that I have to go to non-Neil boards to read about Neil fans excitement and discussion over the tv show and new book. Frown

The World's End.. as Sims!
Posts: 12489 | Location: Bowie's Pants | Registered: August 15, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Lagomorphic wannabe
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I'm REALLY excited too!!!


Those who believe in telekinetics, raise my hand.
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Posts: 2723 | Location: Woman of Kent | Registered: October 10, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I think a series makes sense. There are too many big ideas to digest for a 2-3 hour film. This happens when talented writers imagine a detailed universe. Consider Herbert's Dune. Having read the book, I enjoyed the film, but it's kind of inaccessible to non-readers. Peter Jackson did an exceptional job with LOTR, but he had almost 9 hours to develop the story.

"I lost some time once; it's always in the last place you look for it."--Delirium

Posts: 31 | Registered: October 10, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I agree, the film version of Dune was too condensed. Too many ideas swirling around and not enough time to allow anyone to digest it.

Then comes the Sci-Fi Channel miniseries version.
At least 3-4 hours long, enough to give plenty of breath to each idea, can develop far better story and plot. Only downside is it didn't allow for movie level budget for special effects, but that isn't a complaint against the film but the matte painting background for the desert scenes really shows its age.

As to the topic at hand. I love that this book gets a tv treatment. Each chapter could take up at least an episodes worth of events and moments, each distinct and stands on their own.

I don't see this going beyond a season though unless they decide to include the short-story that came in after and keep going with original ideas made specifically for the tv show.

When Life gives you lemons, don't make lemonade. Make Life take the lemons back! Get mad! I don't want your damn lemons! What the hell am I supposed to do with these!? Demand to see Life's manager! Make Life rue the day it thought it could give Cave Johnson lemons! Do you know who I am? I'm the man who's gonna burn your house down! WITH THE LEMONS! I'm gonna get my engineers to invent a combustible lemon that BURNS YOUR HOUSE DOWN!
Posts: 275 | Location: Somplace where there is cake.....What do you mean the cake is a lie? | Registered: June 05, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Any updates on this? I haven't seen any casting news (though non-David Chase HBO productions tend to cast and shoot really quickly if GoT is any indication).
Posts: 4 | Registered: January 04, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I was very pleased to find this site.I wanted to thank you for this great read!! I definitely enjoying every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post.-

This message has been edited. Last edited by: patrick chen,
Posts: 20 | Registered: November 26, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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sorry, new to the boards. did this happen? did the series get made?
Posts: 16 | Registered: March 13, 2015Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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This is interesting. I definitely think a TV series was a better call than a movie.

Some things mentioned there are unusual, like the monotheistic God- I don't recall Him making an appearance in the book? But perhaps they're adding some new content or story arcs.

One thing that does concern me, is how Shadow will come across on screen. He's so dour and uninterested- which is fine in a book because you know his thought process- but with dialogue alone he's going to be a very stoic lead!

Anyone got casting ideas they'd like to see? Smile

Check out my book 'Strange Matters' on Amazon and Smashwords, a collection of short fantasy tales!
Posts: 7 | Location: Staffordshire, UK | Registered: May 24, 2015Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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So far it's been pretty good.
Posts: 16 | Registered: March 13, 2015Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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