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Anansi Boys Coming To BBC As A Miniseries


Neil Gaiman‘s Anansi Boys, about the sons of the West African spider god, is going to be made into a BBC miniseries!  While a film adaptation has long been rumored and Gaiman even wrote a movie script for it, those plans fell apart at some point.  Given how well BBC adaptations often go and that one of the film adaptations pitched to Gaiman involved changing the race of the main characters, this can probably be seen as a win-win!

RED Production company will be producing this Anansi Boys adaptation.  In the past, they’ve mostly produced original work for the BBC rather than adaptations, but that could be a point in their favor.  They’ve worked with some really fantastic actors in the past as well, including Christopher Eccleston (quite a bit!), Jim Broadbent, Chloe Sevigny, Mark Strong, and David Tennant. As a reminder, Gaiman has had a heck of a run recently as various film and TV adaptations of his works have been announced, between this and American Gods and Sandman.  Neil Gaiman had this to say on his website about the adaptations of both American Gods and Anansi Boys:

Let’s see: there’s news, as I said in the header. AMERICAN GODS is now being developed for TV by Freemantle Media. As to where you will be able to see it, who is going to be in it, who will be writing or show-running, none of these things have yet been settled. But it already looks like it’s going to be a smoother run developing it than it had at HBO, so I am very pleased.

Other TV news also came to fruition today, although I do not have anywhere to link you to, so you will have to take my word for it: Anansi Boys is going to be made into a TV miniseries in the UK, by RED, for the BBC.

Yes, I’m really thrilled about both of these things. Freemantle has the harder task, as they are going to have to open upAmerican Gods into something bigger than the book.

Red are just going to have to make an absolutely brilliant faithful version of Anansi Boys.

Hopefully Gaiman has enough power to just make it so at this point, but it’s likely he does.  Also, miniseries almost always give more breathing room for complex, detailed books than feature films without requiring them to be needlessly drawn out to create an ongoing TV series. With the right casting, this could turn out to be a really excellent adaptation.

(via Blastr)

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  • María

    ‘American Gods’ and ‘Anansi Boys’ have been on my “to read” list since I discovered Gaiman. But my local library doesn’t have a copy of them (none of them, in fact, the only Gaiman book they have is ‘The Graveyard Book’, shame on them). I guess I’ll have to look for them elsewhere…

  • http://jakelsewhere.tumblr.com/ Jake Lsewhere

    Though I doubt very much that it would happen, it would be pretty darn cool if they could get the same actor to play Mr Nancy in both the “Anansi Boys” and “American Gods” series.

  • Anonymous

    I haven’t read American Gods yet (still on my to-read list), but Anansi Boys was great! I first listened to an audiobook version, and between the content of the book and the voice actor that read the story, it was the most enjoyable audiobook that I’ve listened to. I can’t wait to see how they transform it into a miniseries (and definitely think miniseries is the way to go). Now I need to hurry up and read American Gods.

  • Anonymous

    Alright for “Anansi Boys” to become a TV series but what I am really yearning for is a big movie adaptation of “Neverwhere”! (Yes, I know there was a British TV adaptation.)

  • Robert Vary

    I was just coming down here to say the exact same thing! I know, I know, different studios and different continents do make it very unlikely, but it would be pretty awesome.

  • Vian Lawson

    Lenny Henry, who did the brilliant audiobook. Is he too old to play Charlie? If so, how about if he plays Mr Nancy? With a lot of flashbacks …

  • locuas

    personally, i always felt movies like “Watchmen” would have worked much better as Mini-series and not full lenght films. Hell, Maybe that’s what M.N Shyamalan should have done with “The Last Airbender” instead of trying to cram 24 episodes in two hours. it would still suck, but at least there would have been something else besides exposition.

  • locuas

    personally, i always felt movies like “Watchmen” would have worked much better as Mini-series and not full lenght films. Hell, Maybe that’s what M.N Shyamalan should have done with “The Last Airbender” instead of trying to cram 24 episodes in two hours. it would still suck, but at least there would have been something else besides exposition.

  • locuas

    personally, i always felt movies like “Watchmen” would have worked much better as Mini-series and not full lenght films. Hell, Maybe that’s what M.N Shyamalan should have done with “The Last Airbender” instead of trying to cram 24 episodes in two hours. it would still suck, but at least there would have been something else besides exposition.

  • Anonymous

    Actually, the TV “adaptation” is the original story. Neverwhere was turned into a book AFTER they did the miniseries. It gave Neil Gaiman a chance to expand or fix the things that he couldn’t keep/have in the show.

  • Morgan

    I’m in the middle of listening to the audiobook! I checked it out on a bit of lark when I was running late to work and didn’t want to be bookless during my commute. It is a crazy good experience. The narrator is boss.

  • Beccameriel

    Yeah – sadly he’s way to old for Fat Charlie/Spider. Also he’s a
    physically a big guy and Mr Nancy is quite small and slight but maybe
    that doesn’t matter if the characterisation is right – which I don’t doubt it would
    be. I have a perfect candidate for Charlie/Spider in Kobna
    Holdbrook-Smith. He was stunning as Mortimer in Edward II at the
    National Theatre and does the audiobook readings of the Rivers of London
    series.

  • Lady Commentariat

    Per the USA Today link, only frickin’ Hollywood would try to whitewash a story about a West African god and his children. :head-desk:

  • Vian Lawson

    Yep; he looks about right. Who do we have to bonk/marry/kill to make it happen?

    (I’m still sentimentally attached to Lenny Henry; the audiobook is my preferred edition of the text. I know he’s technically bigger than Mr Nancy, but, OTOH, he has lost a lot of weight recently … and, er, reasons … all adaptions have to differ in some ways, right? He was a super Marquis de Carabas … Ok, I’m reaching … )