Amazon Prime Video‘s Anansi Boys has cast its titular brothers. Malachi Kirby will star in the six-part miniseries as both Charlie Nancy and Spider, the sons of the real-life west African god, Anansi.
Adapting Neil Gaiman‘s New York Times bestselling novel of the same name, the series follows the awkward and put-upon Charlie as he discovers that his recently deceased estranged father, Mr. Nancy, was actually Anansi, the fabled trickster god. Moreover, he learns that he has a twin brother, Spider, a superpowered amoral egotist. “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,” said Gaiman. “We found Malachi, and I am so thrilled that we did. He’s astonishing.”
Kirby certainly has range. He starred as Kunta Kinte in The History Channel‘s remake of Roots, had a memorable turn in Black Mirror for Netflix, and has appeared on countless UK television classics, including Casualty, East Enders, and Doctor Who. He recently took home a BAFTA for his role as activist Darcus Howe in Steve McQueen‘s Small Axe anthology series, also for Amazon. He’ll join the previously announced Delroy Lindo, who will play the enigmatic and mysterious Mr. Nancy.
The miniseries represents the latest in Gaiman‘s overall deal with Amazon, which has produced the hit Emmy-nominated (and recently renewed) series Good Omens. Indeed, the celebrated author is enjoying something of a television renaissance, as the long-in-the-making adaptation of his hit comics series, The Sandman, is currently underway at Netflix. Perhaps to capitalize on Gaiman‘s cultural moment, Anansi Boys has been fast-tracked, set to start filming this year, after having only been announced in July.
Gaiman co-wrote the adaptation with actor Sir Lenny Henry, who Gaiman credits with inspiring the story for the novel. The two will executive produce, alongside Douglas Mackinnon, Hanelle M. Culpepper, Hilary Bevan Jones, and Richard Fee. Gaiman and Mackinnon will serve as showrunners, with Culpepper set to direct the pilot. Jermain Julien and Azhur Saleem have also been tapped to direct.
Anansi Boys is expected to begin filming later this year. There’s no release date as of yet, but the series will likely premiere on Amazon Prime Video in 2022.