Amarah-Jae St. Aubyn and Grace Saif join Malachi Kirby and Delroy Lindo on the cast of Anansi Boys, Amazon’s six-part series adaption of Neil Gaiman’s best-selling novel.

Since the announcement in the summer that Neil Gaiman’s Anansi Boys would be adapted for the small screen, we have seen a steady trickle of facts about the upcoming production which has been developed by Gaiman and his friend Sir Lenny Henry.

In a BBC interview Gaiman described how he began his novel following a conversation with friend Lenny Henry decades ago. He said: “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.

 

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He added: “I wrote a novel, a (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’s fitting that both Gaiman and Henry have come together for the screen adaptation.

So, what can we expect from the series Anansi Boys? Read on to learn what we know so far.


The Plot

Anansi Boys follows Mr Nancy’s two sons as they embark on an adventure following their father’s death.

Charlie Nancy (also known as ‘Fat Charlie’) is a young man who is used to being embarrassed by his estranged father. But when his father dies, Charlie discovers that the startling fact that his father was none other than Anansi: the fabled West African trickster god of stories, Anansi. 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.

 

The leading cast members

Malachi Kirby

 
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Leading the cast is Malachi Kirby who attracted kudos in Steve McQueen’s Mangrove, part of the Small Axe Anthology, picking up Best Supporting Actor at the BAFTA TV 2021 for the role. Kirby is also recognised the world over for his role as Kunta Kinte, in the 2016 remake of Roots.

 

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Malachi is cast in the dual roles of brothers “Charles Nancy” and “Spider”. He plays Charles Nancy 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. Cocky, self-assured, magical, super-powered, utterly amoral, and perhaps a bit of a monster.

Speaking about choosing Kirby for the role(s), Gaiman says: “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.”

 

Delroy Lindo

 
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Hollywood heavyweight Delroy Lindo, last seen in Jeymes Samuel’s Netflix western film, The Harder They Fall, is perfectly cast as “Mr. Nancy” – Charlie and Spider’s father Anansi the trickster god.

 

Amarah-Jae St. Aubyn

Amarah-Jae St Aubyn
Amarah-Jae St Aubyn
Photo credit: Joseph Sinclair

Taking on the character Rosie Noah, a teacher and Fat Charlie’s fiancée, Amarah-Jae St. Aubyn’s character is cheerful, wise, good-humoured, and kind; if it wasn’t for her terrifying mother, she’d be perfect. St. Aubyn was brilliant in her breakout leading role in Steve McQueen’s Lovers Rock (part of the Small Axe anthology series).

 

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Grace Saif

Grace Saif
Grace Saif
Photo credit Philip Sharp

Grace Saif) Athena (The Yard Theatre), BBC’s Doctors, is Detective Constable Daisy Day, who finds herself deep into several intersecting police cases, including a murder. She’s smart, efficient, determined, and very funny.

On casting both St. Aubyn and Saif, Gaiman says: “When you are casting something on the scale of Anansi Boys you need female leads who are as accomplished, charming, and brilliant as, well. Amarah-Jae St. Aubyn and Grace Saif are those women. [They’re] both funny, honest, brilliant actresses, and you will fall in love with both of them.”

 

The writers

Gaiman and Sir Lenny will write for the series alongside Arvind Ethan David, Kara Smith and actress and writer Racheal Ofori who starred in Inua Ellams’ Three Sisters.

 

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It is NOT a sequel

Anansi Boys is a stand-alone story and not a sequel or spin-off to Gaiman’s novel American Gods, despite the character Mr Nancy appearing in the book and in the series adaptation of the now cancelled American Gods at Starz.

 

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It’s being filmed in Scotland

The six-part series is being filmed at First Stage Studios in Leith (Scotland) and will premiere exclusively on Amazon Prime Video, though we don’t have a release date yet.

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