Prime Video’s adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s novel Anansi Boys is already shooting in Scotland, with Delroy Lindo playing Mr. Nancy—whose death leads his son, Charlie, to discover that the old man was actually Anansi, a trickster and god of stories. And what’s more, Charlie has a brother he never knew about.
In September, the series added Malachi Kirby in the dual lead roles of Spider and Charlie, Mr. Nancy’s sons. Now, according to The Hollywood Reporter, the show’s female leads have been cast: Amarah-Jae St. Aubyn as Rosie Noah and Grace Saif as Detective Constable Daisy Day.
Kirby has a tricky pair of roles here: Charlie Nancy is embarrassed by his father, who he thinks is just an ordinary old man, and his life gets real weird when Spider shows up to wreak some serious (and dubious) havoc. The brothers are total opposites: Charlie is stressed and awkward and hates his job, and Spider is cocky and magical and does whatever he wants. Gaiman said of the roles, “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. He’s astonishing.”
Kirby played Kunta Kinte in the 2016 remake of Roots, and has appeared in Small Axe, Black Mirror, and Doctor Who.
Amarah-Jae St. Aubyn was also in Small Axe, but appeared in a different episode than Kirby. Her Anansi Boys character, Rosie Noah, is Charlie’s fiancée, is described as “cheerful, wise, good-humored and kind.” Her story in the novel is troubling, and it’ll be interesting to see how the adaptation might adjust her narrative.
Grace Saif’s Daisy Day is “smart, efficient, determined and very funny,” and finds herself working several intersecting cases that connect to the Anansi family. Saif appears in the series Thirteen Reasons Why and has also provided a voice for the game World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth.
One major character has yet to be cast: Graham Coates, Charlie’s terrible, murdering boss.
Anansi Boys is currently in production, with Gaiman and Douglas Mackinnon serving as showrunners. Gaiman and Sir Lenny Henry, who developed the original story together, are writing the adaptation, along with Arvind Ethan David (Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency), Kara Smith (Wild Space), and Racheal Ofori. No release date has been announced for the six-episode series.