Amazon Prime’s next Neil Gaiman adaptation – Anansi Boys – stars Malachi Kirby in two of her lead roles.
In a press release, Amazon Studios revealed that Small X will portray twin brothers Charles Nancy and Spider in the TV adaptation of Star Gaiman’s best-selling fantasy novel.
Kirby joins Delroy Lindo (The 5 Bloods, The Good Fight), who has already been cast as Mr. Nancy, father of Charles and Spider.
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Speaking about Kirby’s casting as part of Amazon’s announcement, Gaiman said: “Malachi Kirby is an actor of astonishing sensitivity, charm and power. We needed someone who would give us Charlie’s humanity and Spider’s.” Divine Dangerousness; Who could play two different characters and who could move the show forward in so many ways. We found Malachi, and I’m so thrilled we did. He’s amazing.”
First published in 2005, Anansi Boys follows Charles, an awkward, stressed out and soon-to-be married man who hates his job. When Charles learns that he has a magical twin brother named Spider, whose powers derive from their father, Mr. Nancy, the pair embark on a series of comic (and sometimes stormy) adventures as they find out. Guess what they have, or what is not normal.
The six-part limited series, which will begin filming in Scotland later in 2021, is being written by Gaiman and Sir Lenny Henry. Gaiman and Douglas McKinnon serve as co-showrunners, with Hannell M. Culpepper directing the pilot. A release date is yet to be revealed.
Analysis: Will Anansi Boys Adapt Another Hit for Gaiman and Amazon?
Anansi Boys is the third collaboration between Gammon and Amazon Studios as the author has struck an overall deal to produce the new series exclusively for the company’s streaming platform.
Good Omens, Gaiman’s first creation to be adapted by Amazon, was a huge success for the pair. The fantasy comedy series starring David Tennant and Michael Sheen currently has an 84% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and was praised by fans and critics alike.
A second season is set to enter production later this year, with Tennant and Sheen reprising their roles as Crowley and Aziraphale, respectively. So Amazon is clearly confident that viewers will indulge in more antics involving the pair.
The second outing of Anansi Boys and Good Omens, then, has the potential to be as big as Season 1 of Good Omens. Both series are likely to retain the humor and fictional worlds that Gaiman has created and heavily involved with the writer in his productions, with neither deviating too far from his original philosophy for both shows.
Of course, Gaiman hasn’t enjoyed a 100% success rate with optimizing its functions. A Starz adaptation of American Gods – which aired on Amazon Prime in the UK – was initially well received, but subsequent seasons failed to capture audiences’ imaginations. The TV adaptation was later canceled after its third season.
Other Gaiman properties have also received poor reviews, including the movie version of Stardust and How to Talk to Girls at Parties. Meanwhile, Coraline and Lucifer — the latter of which has seen its final season released on Netflix — resonated better with audiences.
With Gaiman’s best-known work, Sandman, due soon on Netflix, the author will hope that upcoming adaptations of his books and graphic novels will be better received on a more coherent basis.
Anansi Boys certainly has the potential to be a part of it and, with two established names to star in its TV adaptation, we are confident that it will be another success for Gaiman and Amazon alike.
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