Tom Hanks & Playtone Developing American Gods and Idiot


The Hollywood Reporter caught up with Tom Hanks’ Playtone producing partner Gary Goetzman at the ScreenSingapore premiere of Larry Crowne, and they got the update on a number of projects their production company is developing including an adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s best-selling novel “American Gods” as an HBO series and a movie version of the Broadway musical American Idiot based on the music of rockers Green Day. They’re also in talks with long-time Hanks collaborator, director Robert Zemeckis, to possibly helm Major Matt Mason, a live action toy-to-screen project based on the Mattel action figure that will be Playtone’s second 3D production.

With Neil Gaiman on board as writer and executive producer, the HBO series based on his popular novel is being geared for six seasons of ten to twelve one-hour episodes and a budget of roughly $35 to 40 million per season with its debut planned for 2013.

Goetzman said this on the project and the amount of FX necessary to bring it to television:

“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.”

Before that will be the live action space-faring family film Major Matt Mason, with Hanks and Goetzman in talks with Robert Zemeckis, who has directed Hanks three previous times, to direct the screenplay written by Hanks and Graham Yost for Universal. Hanks was directed to one of his Oscars by Zemeckis for Forrest Gump in 1995, then was nominated again six years later for Cast Away. The budget for the project is upwards of $100 million.

Playtone is also developing a movie based on the Green Day musical “American Idiot” with Michael Mayer, director of the stage version, on board to direct the movie and Green Day frontman Billy Joe Armstrong playing the role of St. Jimmy. (Tony Vincent originated the role on Broadway, but the band’s frontman stepped in for a one-week run as the character a few years back when Vincent had to deal with personal issues.) This would be Playtone’s second musical following the hit Mamma Mia!, which grossed more than $600 million worldwide.

You can read more about all of the above in the interview over on The Hollywood Reporter.