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Amazon and Neil Gaiman have found their new Mr. Nancy/Anansi.
The six-episode limited series — formally greenlit last week following a years-long development process — follows 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.
Lindo will take on the lead role of Anansi/Mr. Nancy, who is described as a charming man who cheated on Charlie’s mother and who had another side to him as the god of stories and trickery.
“Delroy Lindo is a giant of the stage and the screen, and we are so lucky to have him,” Gaiman said Wednesday. “I cannot wait to see his gravitas and charm being deployed for the benefit of Anansi Boys, as he plays an unreliable father with hidden depths.”
The perpetually in-demand Lindo recently earned critical praise for his role in Spike Lee’s Da 5 Bloods. His impressive roster of credits include Malcolm X, The Cider House Rules, Gone in 60 Seconds, Get Shorty and the upcoming Netflix feature The Harder They Fall. He’s also set to direct the indie feature Jabari’s People. On the TV side, Lindo had a four-season tenure on Paramount+’s The Good Fight and his Peabody-winning work on Strange Justice. The Tony-nominated actor most recently starred in ABC pilot Harlem’s Kitchen. While the network was high on the script, the drama was a victim of the pandemic and never moved forward. Lindo is repped by APA.
As THR previously reported, Anansi Boys has no connection to fellow Gaiman drama American Gods. That series, which aired for three seasons on Starz before being abruptly canceled, featured fan-favorite Orlando Jones as Mr. Nancy (aka Anansi). Jones — who contributed writing amid the troubled second season of the Fremantle-produced series — said he was fired from the series after Charles “Chic” Eglee (Dexter) decided his character was sending the “wrong message for Black America.” Jones is not expected to have a role in Amazon’s Anansi Boys.
Gaiman (who has an overall deal with Amazon) and Douglas Mackinnon will reunite on the project as co-showrunners after the latter directed all six episodes of Amazon’s Good Omens. Gaiman and Lenny Henry — who narrated an audiobook and has voiced Spider and Anansi in BBC radio productions — are on board as writers on the series alongside Arvind Ethan David (Jagged Little Pill), Kara Smith and Racheal Ofori. Gaiman, Henry, Mackinnon, Hanelle M. Culpepper, Hilary Bevan Jones and Richard Fee exec produce the series. Culpepper (Star Trek: Picard) will direct the pilot, with Jermain Julien (Grantchester) and Azhur Saleem (Doctor Who) also helming episodes. Paul Frift will produce. Amazon Studios, the Blank Corp., Endor Productions and RED Production produce the series.
A premiere time frame for the series has not yet been determined.
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