Amazon Studios’ series adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s Anansi Boys has added Oscar-winner Whoopi Goldberg to its cast.
Goldberg is one of six actors joining the series, which is filming in Scotland and will debut on Amazon’s Prime Video streaming service. Hakeem Kae-Kazim, Emmanuel Ighodaro, Cecilia Noble, Ayanna Witter-Johnson and Don Gilet have also been cast.
Goldberg will pay Bird Woman, the god of birds and one of the story’s primary antagonists. She and the other new cast actors will play gods who make up the World Before Time — a place where the animals are gods who still walk and that’s full of beauty, magic, and danger.
Kae-Kazim will play Tiger, a dangerous enemy to Anansi and his bloodline. Ighodaro plays Lion, who’s proud and noble and has no time for Anansi. Noble plays Elephant, who is old and wise and hates Anansi. Witter-Johnson plays Snake, who also hates Anansi. Gilet will play Monkey, who’s terrified of Anansi and has a very short attention span.
“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,” said Goldberg.
Added Gaiman, who is writing and serves as series co-showrunner, “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.”
Anansi Boys stars Malachi Kirby (Small Axe) as Charlie Nancy, a young man who is used to being embarrassed by his estranged father (Delroy Lindo). But when his father dies, Charlie discovers that his father was Anansi: trickster god of stories. And he learns that he has a brother, Spider (also played by Kirby), who is determined to make Charlie’s life much more interesting but also a lot more dangerous.
The cast also features Amarah-Jae St. Aubyn, Grace Saif, Jason Watkins, Fiona Shaw, CCH Pounder, L. Scott Caldwell, Joy Richardson and Lachele Carl.
Gaiman, Sir Lenny Henry, co-showrunner Douglas Mackinnon, Hanelle M. Culpepper, Endor Productions’ Hilary Bevan Jones, and RED Production Company’s Richard Fee are executive producing the series. Culpepper is also directing the first episode.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter