Amazon adapting Neil Gaiman’s book Anansi Boys as a limited series

Starz may have cancelled American Gods three seasons in, but author Neil Gaiman still has lots of irons in the fire, including a Netflix adaptation of his seminal comic book The Sandman and a second season of Good Omens coming to Amazon Prime Video. And he’s holding out hope that American Gods could continue in some form, too.

Amazon seems particularly keen on the author, as Entertainment Weekly reports that it’s now adapting his 2005 novel Anansi Boys as a six-episode limited series. Funnily enough, Anansi Boys has connections to American Gods: both books feature Anansi, aka Mr. Nancy, an incarnation of a West African trickster god. On American Gods Mr. Nancy was played by Orlando Jones, who was very vocal about how poorly he was treated before being cut from the third season.

In Anansi Boys, Anansi kicks off the plot by dying, although he still makes appearances after that; gods hard to kill on the best of days. The story mainly follows his son Fat Charlie, who flies in for his dad’s funeral only to discover that he has a brother he never knew about.

So Anansi Boys is kinda-sorta a spinoff of American Gods, although I wouldn’t expect any formal crossovers from the Amazon show. “I borrowed Mr Nancy from the story I had not yet told and I put him, or a version of him, into American Gods,” Gaiman wrote in a blog post.

Anansi Boys

Image: Anansi Boys/Amazon Prime Video

Anansi Boys show has connections to Neil Gaiman’s American Gods

Anansi Boys as a TV series has been a long time coming — I first started working with [production companies] Endor and Red on making it over a decade ago,” Gaiman said in a statement. “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.

We are trying to make a new kind of show with Anansi Boys, and to break ground with it to make something that celebrates and rejoices in diversity both in front of and behind the camera. I’m so thrilled it’s happening and that people will be meeting Mr. Nancy, Charlie, and Spider, the Bird Woman and the rest of them.

Gaiman will serve as co-showrunner alongside Douglas Mackinnon.

There’s no release date for the Anansi Boys series yet, although if there’s already a poster you know Amazon is committed.

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