Neil Gaiman's Anansi Boys Series Casts Malachi Kirby To Play Dual Leads

Things are moving forward on Amazon's "Anansi Boys." Today the creators announced that they've cast the two "boys" referenced in the title, who are identical twins. Malachi Kirby ("Roots," "Devils") will take on the role of the two brothers — Spider and Charlie — who may look alike but are very different in sensibility.

Two Brothers, One Actor

Neil Gaiman, who is co-showrunning the series along with Douglas Mackinnon, had nothing but praise for Kirby's casting. "Malachi Kirby is an actor of astonishing sensitivity, charm, and power," Gaiman said to Deadline. "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."

While we don't know the specifics of the Amazon series, we do know that the book focuses on Spider and Charlie — the two sons of a trickster god who goes by Mr. Nancy. When Mr. Nancy dies, straight-laced Charlie meets Spider, a brother he didn't even know he had that is as much as a trickster as their father.

Here's Amazon's official synopsis of the show:

Based on Gaiman's novel of the same name, Anansi Boys 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 making it a lot more dangerous.

Gaiman, who is also co-writing the six episodes with Lenny Henry, shared in an earlier statement his impetus for writing the 2005 book:

"Anansi Boys" began around 1996, from a conversation I had with Lenny Henry about writing a story that was diverse and part of the culture that we both loved. I wrote a novel, an (I hope) joyous and funny book about a dead god and his two sons, about birds and ghosts and beasts and cops, based in Caribbean and African tales. It was my first number one NYT Bestseller, and went on to become a beloved and award winning book.

With Delroy Lindo previously announced as playing Mr. Nancy, the show now has its main cast members confirmed. The series is set to start filming in Scotland later this year, shortly after Gaiman and Mackinnon wrap up production on the second season of "Good Omens," which they're also making for Amazon.