Entertainment Anansi Boys: Second Neil Gaiman series to film entirely in Scotland this year
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Best-selling fantasy writer Neil Gaiman has revealed he is to join forces with comedy legend Sir Lenny Henry to make a second major series in Scotland this year.
The pair will be reuniting to work on a six-part adaptation of Gaiman’s 2005 novel Anansi Boys, which will be filmed entirely in Scotland by Amazon Studios.
The new six-part show, which will be based at the new First Stage Studios in Leith, has been confirmed weeks after it was announced that Amazon Studios would be making a new series of Good Omens, which will be based at the Pyramids Business Park in Bathgate.
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Both shows will be directed Scottish filmmaker Douglas Mackinnon, who was born on the Isle of Skye, where Gaiman has a home.
Sir Lenny, who is co-writing the Anansi Boys series with Gaiman, helped created the original storyline for the book –about a young man who discovers after his father’s death that he was a “trickster god” and has a long-long brother – and later starred in two BBC radio adaptations.
Gaiman said: 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 on Caribbean and African tales.
“Anansi Boys as a TV series has been a long time coming -- I first started working with Endor and Red on making it over a decade ago.
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"We needed Amazon Prime to come on board and embrace our vision, we needed a lead director with the craft and vision of Hanelle Culpepper, we needed the creative and technical wizardry of Douglas Mackinnon (who worked out how we could push the bounds of the possible to shoot a story set all over the world in a huge studio outside Edinburgh), and we needed the rest of the amazing talents that nobody knows about yet.”
Sir Lenny said: “I’ve been a huge fan (and couch sleeping friend) of Neil Gaiman’s for over 30 years and I have loved being a part of the Anansi Boys creative team. I love that we’re going to have a suitably diverse cast and crew to tell this joyous story.
"What’s great is that the whole production is listening and ensuring that inclusion is happening and being seen to be done.”
Mackinnon said: “I’m thrilled that we get to take the story of Anansi Boys from page to screen with the
creative powers of Neil and Lenny, as well as an extraordinary group of other writers, directors, and a cast and crew of so many diverse perspectives alongside us.
"We’ll be shooting in brand new studios in Scotland where we’ll have the most cutting-edge CGI technology in the world to make all the magic and wonder of Anansi Boys come to life.”
Screen Scotland's executive director Isabel Davis said: “It’s phenomenal that Amazon Studios, Douglas Mackinnon and Neil Gaiman are bringing a second production to Scotland.
"It’s having a transformative impact on the local industry and Screen Scotland has been delighted to work with the production and the team at First Stage Studios to support it coming to Scotland.”
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