Mr. Nancy officially recast for Anansi Boys series with The Good Fight's Delroy Lindo
Orlando Jones played the role for two seasons on the now-canceled American Gods.
It's official: Orlando Jones will not return in the role of African trickster Mr. Nancy in the upcoming Anansi Boys series at Amazon. Instead, Delroy Lindo, who had a notable and critically adored turn in Spike Lee's Da 5 Bloods last year and recently left CBS All Access' The Good Fight, will take over the part, the streaming studio announced on Wednesday.
It seemed likely the role of Mr. Nancy would be recast after Jones' turn in the now-canceled American Gods. Jones parted ways with the Starz drama under contentious circumstances after season 2, and Amazon, as well as author and creator Neil Gaiman, emphasize Anansi Boys as a completely separate thing from the American Gods book and show.
Gaiman first developed the Anansi Boys novel based on conversations with Sir Lenny Henry, who's executive producing and writing the adaptation with Gaiman, though the character would also feature in American Gods.
"Delroy Lindo is a giant of the stage and the screen, and we are so lucky to have him," Gaiman said in a statement. "I cannot wait to see his gravitas and charm being deployed for the benefit of Anansi Boys, as he plays an unreliable father with hidden depths."
Anansi Boys tells the story of Charlie Nancy, who learns that his recently deceased estranged father, the one who always used to embarrass him, was actually the god known as Anansi. The realization also comes with the discovery that he has a brother he never met, Spider, who enters his life and makes it more interesting, albeit dangerous.
This take on Mr. Nancy is described as "all charm," according to a description. "As far as Charlie knows, his father was a lazy, charming man who cheated on Charlie's mother. But Mr. Nancy had another side to him. He was a god of stories and trickery after all."
Lindo recently left his role on The Good Fight after the start of season 5. His character, Adrian Boseman, left the firm and moved to Atlanta in the wake of the racially charged events of 2020. Lindo was reportedly on track to star on the ABC pilot for Harlem's Kitchen, but the drama wasn't picked up to series. Anansi Boys is his first major role since then.
Gaiman showruns the six-part limited series with executive producer Douglas Mackinnon.
As for American Gods, Gaiman and the producers at Fremantle expressed efforts to keep the show alive after its cancelation at Starz. So, far those efforts have not bore fruit.