Anansi Boys — cast, plot and all about the magical fantasy series

Anansi Boys sees Whoopi Goldberg team up with Malchi Kirby for the Prime Video fantasy saga.
Anansi Boys sees Whoopi Goldberg team up with Malchi Kirby for the Prime Video fantasy saga. (Image credit: Getty)

Anansi Boys on Prime Video sees Malachi Kirby and Whoopi Goldberg leading an international cast. It brings to life Neil Gaiman’s international bestselling book Anansi Boys, with Oscar-winner Whoopi playing an animal god in the mystical World Before Time. 

The story follows Charlie Nancy, played by former EastEnders and Roots star Malachi Kirby. Charlie is nicknamed Fat Charlie by his dad, who learns that his late father was an incarnation of the West African spider god Anansi. Charlie then discovers that he has a brother Spider (also played by Malachi), whose arrival turns Charlie’s life, and everything he thought about the world, on its head. 

The boys’ story stretches from the UK to Florida, the Caribbean and the mythical World Before Time where the animals who are gods still walk, and sees them take on enemies more powerful than they could ever imagine.

Whoopi Goldberg says: “I have been a fan of this book for a very long time and when Neil Gaiman told me it was being brought to the screen, I did everything I could to be part of it to help make people aware of Anansi and all his magic.” 

So here's everything you need to know about Anansi Boys on Prime Video...

Anansi Boys release date

Anansi Boys is a six-parter that's currently being filmed in Scotland and will premiere on Amazon Prime Video. The launch date has yet to be announced so we’ll have to update you as soon as we hear anything. 

Anansi Boys plot  

Anansi Boys follows Charles ‘Fat Charlie’ Nancy (Malachi Kirby), an unambitious Londoner who works at talent agency and is in the midst of planning his wedding. He then finds out that his flamboyant, and often embarrassing, father has died so he travels to Florida for his funeral. There Fat Charlie learns that his father was actually an incarnation of the spider god Anansi and the reason Fat Charlie hasn’t inherited any of his special powers is because they were passed down to his brother Spider, who Charlie didn’t know existed. 

When Fat Charlie returns to London, Spider pays him a visit and ends up throwing a grenade into Charlie’s well-ordered life. Fat Charlie knows he must get rid of his brother and is sent to the ‘beginning of the world’ where ancient gods, all representing a species of animal, roam the land. All of these animals hated Fat Charlie’s father, so will these terrifying creatures really give him the assistance he needs? And can Fat Charlie cope with the chaos Spider has caused back home in London?  

Anansi Boys cast — Malachi Kirby as Fat Charlie and Spider 

In Anansi Boys, Malachi Kirby will play both brothers, Fat Charlie and Spider in the series. He’s best known for his role as Wayne Ladlow in EastEnders, who he played back in 2014. He then went on to play Kunta Kinte in the series Roots as well as starring in the miniseries Curfew and Devils. Malachi has also had roles in Casualty, Black Mirror, Small Axe, Doctor Who and Silent Witness

Malachi Kirby as Kunte Kinte in Roots.

Malachi Kirby as Kunte Kinte in Roots. (Image credit: BBC)

Whoopi Goldberg as Bird Woman 

Whoopi Goldberg plays The Bird Woman, who agrees to help Fat Charlie but at a terrible cost. 

Starting out as a stand-up comedian, Whoopi shot to fame back in 1985 playing Celie Johnson in The Color Purple. She then starred in the smash hit Ghost, alongside Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore, for which she won an Oscar for best supporting actress. She played Odessa in The Long Walk Home, about the Montgomery bus boycott, starred in Jumpin’ Jack Flash, Sister Act and Sister Act 2, plus Star Trek: The Next Generation. She also voiced characters in The Lion King and Toy Story 3.

Neil Gaiman, who wrote the book and is a co-showrunner and executive producer on the series said, “When I first conceived Anansi Boys, decades ago, I imagined Whoopi Goldberg as Bird Woman. I wasn't able to meet her until 2018, when she interviewed me with some of the Good Omens team at New York Comic Con. At which point she mentioned that she had just finished listening to Sir Lenny Henry's reading of Anansi Boys, and that it was one of her favorite books. Sometimes things feel planned and inevitable, and we are incredibly lucky. She's going to be scary.”

Whoopi in 198s movie The Color Purple.

Whoopi in 198s movie The Color Purple. (Image credit: Warner Bros)

Who else is starring in Anansi Boys? 

Dynasty actor and 24 star Hakeem Kae-Kazim has been cast as Tiger, Fat Charlie’s dangerous adversary. Emmanuel Ighodaro (Shameless and DCI Banks) will play Lion while Cecilia Noble (Killing Eve, The Teacher) is Elephant. Singer and musician Ayanna Witter-Johnson has been cast as Snake while former EastEnders star Don Gilet will play Monkey. 

Don Gilet as murderer Lucas in EastEnders.

Don Gilet as murderer Lucas in EastEnders. (Image credit: BBC)

 Is there a trailer for Anansi Boys? 

Anansi Boys is still being filmed so there’s no trailer yet. But watch this space and we’ll put it up as soon as it drops. We can’t wait to see Whoopi in all her feathered finery!

Nicholas Cannon
TV Content Director on TV Times, What's On TV and TV & Satellite Week

I'm a huge fan of television so I really have found the perfect job, as I've been writing about TV shows, films and interviewing major television, film and sports stars for over 25 years. I'm currently TV Content Director on What's On TV, TV Times, TV and Satellite Week magazines plus I previously worked on Woman and Woman's Own in the 1990s. Outside of work I swim every morning, support Charlton Athletic football club and get nostalgic about TV shows Cagney & Lacey, I Claudius, Dallas and Tenko. I'm totally on top of everything good coming up too.