At the end of July, Delroy Lindo was cast to play Anansi / Mr. Nancy in Amazon’s six-episode limited series adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s 2005 fantasy novel Anansi Boys (buy a copy at THIS LINK) – but we were left to wonder who would be taking on the lead roles of Anansi’s sons Charlie and Spider on the show. As it turns out, only one actor was required: Malachi Kirby has signed on to play both of the Anansi boys.
Kirby’s previous credits include episodes of EastEnders, Black Mirror, Curfew, and Devils. He played Spring Heeled Jack Burton in the 2015 mini-series Jekyll and Hyde, and was Kunta Kinte in the 2016 version of Roots.
Anansi Boys will center on
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 also making it a lot more dangerous.
Here’s some more information on Charlie and Spider:
The character of Charles Nancy, sometimes known as Fat Charlie (it was his father’s nickname for him – he’s not fat), is described as awkward, stressed, engaged to be married, and working at a job he hates for a man he hates. He is as normal as it is possible to be – at least until he learns that his father was a god, and that he has a magical brother he does not know about. Spider is that brother. Described as cocky, self-assured, magical, superpowered, utterly amoral, and perhaps a bit of a monster.
Gaiman had this to say about Kirby’s casting:
Malachi Kirby is an actor of astonishing sensitivity, charm, and power. We needed somebody who could bring us the humanity of Charlie and the godly dangerousness of Spider; who could play two very different characters and who could in many ways carry the show. We found Malachi, and I am so thrilled that we did. He’s astonishing.”
Gaiman will serve as showrunner on Anansi Boys alongside Douglas Mackinnon, who directed all six episodes of the Gaiman series Good Omens‘ first season. Gaiman will also be writing the Anansi Boys scripts with Lenny Henry, Arvind Ethan David, Kara Smith, and Racheal Ofori. Gaiman, Henry, and Mackinnon are executive producing the show with Hilary Bevan Jones, Richard Fee, and Hanelle M. Culpepper.
The first episode will be directed by Culpepper, whose credits include Star Trek: Picard. Jermain Julien (Grantchester) and Azhur Saleem (Doctor Who) are also on board to direct episodes.
Anansi Boys is being produced by Amazon Studios, the Blank Corp., Endor Productions, RED Production, and Paul Frift.