Neil Gaiman Sets ‘Anansi Boys’ Limited Series at Amazon

Author will write the six-episode adaptation of his book along with Lenny Henry

Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Starz

Neil Gaiman is adapting his fantasy novel “Anansi Boys” into a limited series at Amazon, the studio revealed Wednesday.

The “American Gods” author will write the six-episode adaptation of his 2005 book “Anansi Boys” along with Lenny Henry. The TV adaptation will begin shooting in Scotland later this year.

Based on Gaiman’s novel of the same name, “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. 

Per Amazon, “‘Anansi Boys’ is a stand-alone story, not a sequel or spin-off of Gaiman’s novel ‘American Gods.’ The book’s story was originally developed in conversation between Gaiman and Henry with the series adaptation reuniting the collaboration between the pair.”

Gaiman, who has an overall deal with Amazon and is currently working on his second season of “Good Omens” for Prime Video, shared the news himself via Twitter on Wednesday, writing: “I’ve been hinting for, well, over a year now, that there are two big TV shows I’m making. Last month, we announced Good Omens 2. Here’s a clue to what the other one might be…” The tweet included a poster that read “Anansi Boys, Prime Video.”

“Anansi Boys” will be executive produced by Gaiman, Henry, Douglas Mackinnon, Hanelle M. Culpepper (who will direct the pilot), Hilary Bevan Jones (Endor Productions) and Richard Fee (Red Production Company), with Gaiman and Mackinnon serving as co-showrunners. Gaiman and Henry will also write for the series along with Arvind Ethan David, Kara Smith, and Racheal Ofori. Paul Frift is a producer. Jermain Julien and Azhur Saleem are directing episodes.

The limited series is produced by Amazon Studios, The Blank Corporation, Endor Productions, and RED Production Company.

“Anansi Boys” joins a list of Gaiman titles that have been adapted into TV series, including the now-canceled “American Gods” at Starz, along with “Good Omens” at Amazon, and the upcoming “The Sandman” at Netflix.

See Gaiman’s statement about the “Anansi Boys” series below, courtesy of Amazon:

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.  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. 

“Anansi Boys as a TV series has been a long time coming — I first started working with Endor and Red on making it over a decade ago. 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, we needed 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. 

“I am thrilled that Sir Lenny Henry is one of our executive producers. He was there when it was conceived, he narrated the audiobook and he has kept the heart of the production true. 

“We are trying to make a new kind of show with Anansi Boys, and to break ground with it to make something that celebrates and rejoices in diversity both in front of and behind the camera.  I’m so thrilled it’s happening and that people will be meeting Mr. Nancy, Charlie and Spider, the Bird Woman and the rest of them.” 


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