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Neil Gaiman Unleashed (Pandora’s Box Opened)

Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman is generally regarded as one of the most unique voices in comics and fantasy literature. The Hugo-award winning author is the creator of Sandman, American Gods, and a great many other mind-bending pieces of narrative art.

And he’s just signed a multiple-year agreement with FremantleMedia to adapt his work into television. Any of his work. His discretion.

Given Gaiman’s penchant for deeply philosophical and deeply messed up explorations of mythology, we could be in for quite a ride.

Gaiman has worked in TV and movies before, and several of his works have been adapted for the screen. Coraline, MirrorMask, and Stardust were just the beginning, and his adaptation of American Gods (man-eating fertility goddess and all) is set to air at the end of April.

I’d say “look out for xxx, the weirdest Gaiman work yet!”, but to be honest, nothing really tops American Gods. The show chronicles the travels of an ex-con through an America littered with gods and mythological creatures inadvertently created by the psychic energy of immigrants.

It’s an appropriate subject for these times, and a powerful exploration of the nature of belief and theology, as well as an entertaining look at the deities of cultures around the world.

FremantleMedia is the British production house that partnered with Gaiman for American Gods, and they’ve locked down the television rights to his work for the foreseeable future. Gaiman, for his part, is free to adapt Sandman or anything else he wants.

Will any of this stuff be animated? Not clear, but all signs point to yes. Gaiman started as a comics guy, after all, and many of his works would work best as animated adaptations.

Sandman, for example, would exceed even Doctor Strange for sheer spectacle, and the effects budget to do it live-action justice might not exist.

Plus, an animated version would give Gaiman the chance to voice Sandman himself. He’s already very well-versed in the art of talking deep and spooky, as his charity reading of Edgar Allen Poe’s The Raven proves.

In the meantime, film adaptations of Gaiman’s work continue apace. How to Talk to Girls at Parties is currently in production with a release expected in 2017.

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