So it looks like Amazon likes being in the Neil Gaiman business, and vice-versa. With the streamer and celebrated author set to begin production (fingers crossed) on the second season of Gaiman and Sir Terry Pratchett's Good Omens this fall comes news that Gaiman and actor/comedian Sir Lenny Henry would be teaming up to write a six-episode live-action limited series adaptation of Anansi Boys for Amazon. With filming set to kick off in Scotland later this year, Gaiman and Henry will write along with Arvind Ethan David, Kara Smith, and Racheal Ofori. Gaiman and Douglas Mackinnon will serve as co-showrunners, with Hanelle M. Culpepper (Star Trek: Picard) directing the pilot and Jermain Julien (Grantchester) and Azhur Saleem (Doctor Who) also directing for the series.
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: the 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. Amazon Studios, The Blank Corporation, Endor Productions, and Red Production Company will produce. Gaiman, Henry, Mackinnon, Culpepper, Hilary Bevan Jones, and Richard Fee will serve as executive producers, with Paul Frift producing.
"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," Gaiman said in his statement when the news was first announced. "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," he added.
Henry continued, "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."
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