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OTRC: Tom Hanks to co-produce 'American Gods' for HBO

Tom Hanks appears in a still from his 2007 film, 'Charlie Wilson's War.' (Universal Pictures)

Tom Hanks' production company is set to produce an HBO television series based on Neil Gaiman's fantasy novel "American Gods."

The book tells of an ex-convict who teams up with a man who is an incarnation of the Norse god Odin, who is trying to recruit other ancient gods ahead of the "battle for the very soul of America." The two target "new gods," aka technologies that seem to dominate humans' lives - such as the Internet. The news comes less than a week before Gaiman's novel marks the10th anniversary of its release.

Hanks' series is slated for six seasons, with each costing up to $40 million and consisting of up to 12 hour-long episodes, the Hollywood Reporter said.

The project is expected to debut in 2013, according to production lists. No actors have yet been named.

Gaiman's literary work has also been adapted into films - for example, the 2007 movie "Stardust," which stars Michelle Pfeiffer and Claire Danes, and "Coraline," which came out in 2009 and featured the voice of actress Dakota Fanning.

In the past, Hanks has helped produce shows such as HBO's "Big Love" and its mini-series "The Pacific" and "Band of Brothers" as well as the 2002 movie "My Big Fat Greek Wedding."

His company is also set to develop a film based on the Mattel action figure Major Matt Mason as well as big-screen adaptations of the Broadway musicals "American Idiot," which features the music of rock band Green Day, and "Spring Awakening," which starred Lea Michele and Jonathan Groff from the FOX series "Glee," the Hollywood Reporter said.

Meanwhile, Hanks continues to act and appears in the new comedy movie "Larry Crowne" with Julia Roberts and Bryan Cranston. The movie is set for release on July 1.

Hanks is also set to star in the sci-fi film "Cloud Atlas," which is set for release in May 2012. The film is based on a 2004 book by David Mitchell. It consists six interconnected stories, including that of a journalist who investigates alleged corruption at a nuclear power plant in 1975 and a tribesman living a primitive life in a post-apocalyptic future.

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