“Anansi Boys” Is Getting an Amazon Series!

Anansi Boys
Image courtesy of Neil Gaiman

Rumors of an Anansi Boys series have been circulating for a while. Now we have it straight from author Neil Gaiman’s blog: it’s happening, and sooner than you might think!

Anansi Boys is the story of Fat Charlie, the son of Anansi (though he doesn’t know it), and Spider, the brother he never knew existed. I think it’s one of Gaiman’s best stories, written with humor, heart, and deep respect to the base mythology. Now, the book is getting a small-screen adaptation. 

Given how AMAZING Good Omens turned out, I’m not even a little worried about this show. Gaiman has proven that he wouldn’t let someone work on one of his books who will twist it from the original messaging, so we only have good things to expect now.

Gaiman dropped the news on his blog after a little Twitter teasing earlier today. According to him, Anansi Boys was inspired by a comment his friend Sir Lenny Henry (AKA Sir Lenworth George Henry CBE) made while working on the TV series Neverwhere. From the blog:

Lenny and I went for a walk. Lenny grumbled about horror films. “You’ll never get people who look like me starring in horror films,” he said. “We’re the hero’s friend who dies third.”

And I thought and blinked. He was right. “I’ll write you a horror movie you could star in,” I told him.

If you’ve read Anansi Boys you know that, while there are some spooky bits and a little body horror in places, it didn’t wind up being a horror film. Still, Gaiman has stuck to his guns on keeping it as a vehicle for POC actors. Which should be a no-brainer, given that Anansi is a treasured character from West African and Caribbean folklore. However, according to Gaiman, some people have other ideas:

A top Hollywood director wanted to buy the rights to Anansi Boys, but when he told me that he planned to make all the characters white, I declined to sell it. It was going to be done properly or not at all.

Now, with RED creating the show for Amazon, it’s being done properly- and Sir Lenny Henry is on board as both a writer and an Executive Producer to “make sure the soul stayed in it”. Given the interesting team Gaiman and company have put together for Anansi Boys (you can see everyone assembled so far on his blog post) I’m really looking forward to seeing how this turns out.

Casting is underway and will be announced soon. We’ll update when we hear more about the production process, so watch this space!

Author: Khai

Khai is a writer, anthropologist, and games enthusiast. She is co-editor (alongside Alex DeCampi) of and contributor to “True War Stories”, a comic anthology published by Z2 Comics. When she’s not writing or creating games, Khai likes to run more tabletop RPGs than one person should reasonably juggle.

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