Tom Hanks’ Summer Reading: ‘American Gods’

One of the most exciting bits of TV development news to come along in recent months is the announcement that HBO and Playtone are developing Neil Gaiman’s beloved “American Gods” to the small screen via an episodic television series.

When MTV News caught up with Playtone head honcho Tom Hanks recently during the press day for “Larry Crowne,” which opened on Friday (July 1), we asked him for an “American Gods” update, and how he and Playtone got involved with the project.

“I don’t know anything about ’American Gods,'” he admitted. “I have the book. I just now have it and it’s on my summer reading list because people at my company came in foaming at the mouth about ’American Gods’ and the possibility of being able to do it. So I said, ’Uuh, okay, let’s go! Let’s go!’ So I’m playing catch-up on ’American Gods,’ which is going to be a pleasant job.”

“You are an American God,” chimed in Julia Roberts, Hanks’ co-star in “Crowne.”

Speaking to a few more “Gods” specifics, Gaiman himself told us that he’s currently consumed with telling the story over multiple seasons.

“The overall plan right now is that the first season would essentially be the first book, with a few interesting divergences,” Gaiman said of the television series. “You don’t want people who’ve read the book to be able to go, ’I know everything that’s going to be happening here.’ [They will] know a lot more than anybody who’s starting from here, but we will do things that will surprise [them] too.”

What do you think of the “American Gods” developments so far? Will you watch? Tell us in the comments or on Twitter!