Novelist Neil Gelman’s international bestseller Anansi Boys becomes a six-part miniseries via Amazon Prime Video. Filming is set to begin in Scotland this year and the format will then be available across all Amazon Prime Video regions. The series is produced by Amazon Studios, The Blank Corporation, Endor Productions and Red Production Company.
Based on Gaiman’s novel of the same name, Anansi Boys Charlie tells the story of Nancy, a young man who is used to being embarrassed by his estranged father. When he dies, however, Charlie learns not only that his father was Anansi – the trickster god of stories – but that he also has a brother: Spider. Since then, she’s determined to make Charlie’s life more interesting, but also more dangerous.
It is a stand-alone story and is not a sequel or spin-off to American Gods, which was developed for Starz, but premiered in certain markets, including Germany, through Amazon Prime Video. Originally, the story of the novel was developed as a conversation between Gaiman and Henry. The two are now working together again for the series production.
Executive producers included Gaiman, Sir Lenny Henry, Douglas McKinnon, Hannell M. Culpeper, Hilary Bevan Jones and Richard Fee are executive producers. Gaiman and Henry are screenwriters for the series and Aravind is assisted by Ethan David, Kara Smith and Rachel Ofori. Gaiman and McKinnon share the listener position. Culpepper (Star Trek: Picard, “Memories of Ptolemy Gray“) directs the pilot episode. Jermaine Julian (Grantchester) and Azhar Salim (Doctor Who) will also sit in the director’s chair. Paul Frift is a producer.
Gammon:The Anansi Boys began around 1996 as a conversation with Lenny Henry about writing a story that was diverse and part of a culture we both loved. I have written a novel based on Caribbean and African stories, a (I hope) funny and entertaining book about a dead god and his two sons, birds, ghosts, animals, police. It was my first New York Times bestseller and went on to become a popular and award-winning book.“
Gaiman continues: “Anansi Boys is a television series that has been in the making for a long time. I first worked with Endor and Red a decade ago. We needed Amazon Prime on board to help us with our vision, we needed a director who knew something about the craft and had a vision like Hannel Culpepper, we needed creative and technical wizardry from Douglas McKinnon. There was a need (which worked out how we pushed the limits to the max. To set a story around the world in a big studio near Edinburgh) and we needed the rest of the amazing talent that nobody knows about.“
And also Gaiman: “I am delighted that Sir Lenny Henry is one of our executive producers. He was there when the idea was conceived, he told the audio book and kept the heart of the production clear. We are trying to do a new kind of series with Anansi Boys and are groundbreaking with something that celebrates diversity in front of and behind the camera. I’m so glad it happened and people met Mr. Nancy, Charlie, Spider, The Bird Woman and the rest.“
Henry:I’ve always been a huge fan (and couch-bed friend) of Neil Gaiman for over 30 years and I loved being part of the Anansi Boys’ creative team. I love that, well, we’ll have a diverse cast and crew to tell this delightful story! The good thing is that the entire production listens and makes sure that inclusion happens and is implemented.“
Here is the first keyart for the planned series:
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