Neil Gaiman’s Anansi Boys in development at Amazon Studios. No, this is not a spin-off of Starz’s American Gods
Streaming services are in the Neil Gaiman business of late. Sandman is coming to Netflix with a hefty $500 million price tag in the near future, Amazon debuted Good Omens on their service in 2019, with another season on the way, Starz just cancelled American Gods after 3 seasons and now, we’ve been graced with the news that Anansi Boys is in development at the House of Bezos.
In a tweet earlier today, the prolific writer of the aforementioned works dropped a “clue” as to what his next project for Amazon Studios would be.
I've been hinting for, well, over a year now, that there are two big TV shows I'm making. Last month, we announced Good Omens 2.
Here's a clue to what the other one might be… pic.twitter.com/0x4HaZWS9s
— Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself) July 21, 2021
You don’t have to call CSI: KFC to deduce that clue. In a press release following Gaiman’s reveal, Amazon Studios gave a synopsis of the 6-episode limited series coming to their service.
“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 making it a lot more dangerous.”
For fans of Starz’s American Gods, this news is bitter sweet. Amazon Studios stated in their press release that “Anansi Boys is a stand-alone story, not a sequel or spin-off of Gaiman’s novel American Gods.” What does that mean? Well, The Hollywood Reporter picked up the story and expounded on the news, relaying that their sources indicated that Orlando Jones would not be reprising his role as Mr. Nancy/Anansi from the Starz iteration of American Gods.
On the one hand, this makes sense. This is a different project from a different studio. Additionally, it makes sense that Amazon Studios would want to distance themselves from the behind the scenes turmoil that plagued American Gods from the beginning, mostly with the production company, Freemantle, who is not involved in this project. That said, we’ve seen actors and roles transplanted from other networks and shows, such as Constantine from NBC to The CW’s Legends of Tomorrow. Jones’s work on American Gods as Mr. Nancy was seen as one of the highlights by many fans of the show. Therefore, for some fans this news will certainly be disappointing.
We’ve got a bit of a wait in front of us before we can check out the show. Anansi Boys isn’t scheduled to begin shooting in Scotland until later this year. Amazon Studios and Gaiman will be reteaming with Douglas Mackinnon, who directed Good Omens for the studio.
But what do you think? Are you excited to see another adaptation of Gaiman’s work hit the screen? Let us know in the comments below or over on the discord channel.