Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman Is Getting A Limited Series Adaptation On Amazon Prime
Neil Gaiman has had some hits and misses with adaptations of his work over the years. This year alone saw both the cancellation of American Gods on Starz, as well as a renewal of Good Omens for a second season from Amazon Prime. Well, it looks like Gaiman’s success on Amazon has made him a comfortable home on the streaming network. Because now there is a new Gaiman adaptation in the works for Amazon Prime. At long last, we will see an adaptation of Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman as a limited series on Amazon Prime.
Image via Amazon Prime
“Anansi Boys as a TV series has been a long time coming.” Says Neil Gaiman. “We needed Amazon Prime to come on board and embrace our vision. We needed a lead director with the craft and vision of Hanelle Culpepper. The creative and technical wizardry of Douglas Mackinnon, who worked out how we could push the bounds of the possible to shoot a story set all over the world in a huge studio outside Edinburgh. And we needed the rest of the amazing talents that nobody knows about yet.”
Don’t Expect The Same Mr. Nancy You’ve Seen Before
Orlando Jones as Anansi in American Gods | Image via Starz
This is an adaptation that fans have been awaiting for many years. Many thought that there was a potential for Starz to adapt Anansi Boys, to tie into American Gods. After all, the character of Anansi – or Mr. Nancy – does appear in both books. However, it looks like Amazon will start fresh with this adaptation and just ignore the character from the American Gods adaptation entirely. That means that Orlando Jones’s days of playing Mr. Nancy are well and truly over. And we’ll have to wait and see who will be cast in the role on Amazon Prime.
Anansi Boys follows the sons of Mr. Nancy, who are unaware of each other’s existence until the death of their father reveals his true god-like identity. A synopsis from Harper Collins tells us the following about Anansi Boys.
“Fat Charlie Nancy’s normal life ended the moment his father dropped dead on a Florida karaoke stage. Charlie didn’t know his dad was a god. And he never knew he had a brother. Now brother Spider’s on his doorstep — about to make Fat Charlie’s life more interesting… and a lot more dangerous. “
Neil Gaiman and Sir Lenny Henry In The Writer’s Room
Image via Author’s Website
The adaptation of Anansi Boys is set for a six-episode limited series on Amazon Prime. Author Neil Gaiman is writing the script with Sir Lenny Henry (who is also appearing in Amazon’s upcoming Lord of the Rings series). It is interesting to note that Sir Lenny Henry also recently played the character of Anansi (or Mr. Nancy) in the BBC radio production of the novel. Is it possible that he will reprise the role for the screen? Maybe if he isn’t too busy filming Lord of the Rings for Amazon. Apparently, Sir Henry was also part of the original inspiration for the book by Gaiman as the author said in a statement.
“Anansi Boys began around 1996, from a conversation I had with Lenny Henry about writing a story that was diverse and part of the culture that we both loved,” Gaiman says. “I wrote a novel, an (I hope) joyous and funny book about a dead god and his two sons. About birds and ghosts and beasts and cops, based in Caribbean and African tales. It was my first number one NYT Bestseller, and went on to become a beloved and award winning book.
The Importance of Diversity In Anansi Boys
Sir Lenny Henry | Image via BBC Radio 4
Henry recently put out a statement regarding his love of the book. And his excitement over working with Gaiman in the writer’s room on Anansi Boys. He also spoke about the importance of diversity and inclusion in the series as it moves forward with production.
“I’ve been a huge fan (and couch sleeping friend) of Neil Gaiman’s for over 30 years. And I have loved being a part of the Anansi Boys’ creative team. I love that we’re going to have a suitably diverse cast and crew to tell this joyous story. What’s great is that the whole production is listening and ensuring that inclusion is happening and is being seen to be done.”
We look forward to seeing who will be join the cast of Anansi Boys on Amazon Prime. And if we are making a wishlist for upcoming adaptations of Neil Gaiman novels, can I officially make a request to see Neverwhere adapted next? Don’t let me down Amazon.
Filming for the Amazon Prime adaptation of Anansi Boys is due to begin in Scotland later this year. We will definitely be keeping an eye on this series as we learn more about casting and production. Stay tuned to Comic Years on Facebook and Twitter for all of the latest news.
Emily O'Donnell is a writer and photographer with roots in some of the earliest online fandoms. She cut her genre teeth on the Wizard of Oz books at the tender age of 6 years old, and was reading epic adult fantasy novels by the age of 10. Decades later, she still consumes genre fiction like there is no tomorrow. She is delighted to be living through the golden age of sci-fi and fantasy popularity. She is unashamed of the amount of fanfiction that still lingers online under her name.