Neil Gaiman’s ‘Anansi Boys’ Ordered to Series at Amazon
Written by laserteam on July 21, 2021
(THR) – Don’t call it an American Gods sequel or spinoff.
Anansi Boys, the 2005 fantasy novel from Neil Gaiman, has been ordered to series at Amazon. The six-episode limited series will begin production this year in Scotland as casting has already heated up for the drama that, like Gaiman’s novel and his since-canceled Starz series American Gods, revolves around Mr. Nancy.
Amazon, which has an overall deal with Gaiman recently handed out a long-delayed and surprising renewal for the author’s Good Omens drama, says Anansi Boys follows Charlie Nancy, a young man who is used to being embarrassed by his estranged father. But when his father dies, Charlie discovers that his father was Anansi: trickster god of stories. And he learns that he has a brother. Now his brother, Spider, is entering Charlie’s life, determined to make it more interesting but making it a lot more dangerous.
American Gods, which aired for three seasons on Starz before being abruptly canceled, featured fan-favorite Orlando Jones as Mr. Nancy (aka Anansi). Jones — who contributed writing amid the troubled second season of the Fremantle-produced series — said he was fired from the series after Charles “Chic” Eglee (Dexter) decided his character was sending the “wrong message for Black America.” Jones, sources say, is not going to take on the role in Anansi Boys.
Gaiman and Douglas Mackinnon will reunite on the project as co-showrunners after the latter directed all six episodes of Good Omens season one. Gaiman and Lenny Henry — who narrated an audio book and has voiced Spider and Anansi in BBC radio productions — are on board as writers on the series alongside Arvind Ethan David (Jagged Little Pill), Kara Smith and Racheal Ofori. Gaiman, Henry, Mackinnon, Hanelle M. Culpepper, Hilary Bevan Jones and Richard Fee exec produce the series. Culpepper (Star Trek: Picard) will direct the pilot, with Jermain Julien (Grantchester) and Azhur Saleem (Doctor Who) also helming episodes. Paul Frift will produce. Amazon Studios, the Blank Corp., Endor Productions and RED Production produce the series.
Anansi Boys has been in development at Amazon for more than a year after Gaiman and revealed in 2014 that both it and American Gods TV series were in the works. The Anansi Boys show was previously set up with RED at the BBC, with the latter no longer involved in the Amazon take.