Amazon Studios officially confirmed that Oscar winner Whoopi Goldberg has signed on for a key role in the upcoming series adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s beloved fantasy novel Anansi Boys, which will be led by Malachi Kirby. Goldberg will portray the role of the Menacing Bird Woman, described as the god of Birds who exists within The World Before Time.
“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,” Goldberg said in a statement.
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In addition, Amazon has also announced the addition of five more cast members, who are portraying the animal gods from The World Before Time. This includes Hakeem Kae-Kazim, Emmanuel Ighodaro, Cecilia Noble, Ayanna Witter-Johnson, and Don Gilet.
Their full character descriptions are listed below:
- Goldberg’s Bird Woman – She’s the embodiment of birds. Not just beautiful stately birds in flight. Anyone who’s had a close encounter with a seagull knows that some birds are more dangerous than others, and Bird Woman is the most dangerous of them all. Long ago Anansi did her wrong. Now may be her chance to turn the tables.
- Hakeem Kae-Kazim’s Tiger – He’s still angry with Anansi for stealing the stories, for making fun of him, and for coming out on top. Tiger (it’s the name of any Big Cat in the Caribbean) is a dangerous enemy to Anansi and all his bloodline.
- Ighodaro’s Lion – He’s proud and noble and has no time for Anansi.
- Noble’s Elephant – She’s old and wise, and hates Anansi.
- Witter-Johnson’s Snake – She’s beautiful and deadly and hates Anansi.
- Gilet’s Monkey – He’s terrified of Anansi, keen on food – particularly fruit – and has the attention span of, well, a monkey…
Amazon’s Anansi Boys is a six-episode adaptation starring Malachi Kirby in the leading roles of brothers Fat Charlie and Spider. Set throughout contemporary London, the story follows an exciting cast of characters in an epic story that stretches from the UK to Florida, the Caribbean, and the mythical World Before Time. Additional cast includes Delroy Lindo as Anansi, Amarah-Jae St. Aubyn as Rosie Noah, Grace Saif as Detective Constable Daisy Day, Jason Watkins as Grahame Coats, Fiona Shaw as Maeve Livingstone, CCH Pounder as Mrs. Higgler, L. Scott Caldwell as Mrs. Dunwiddy, Joy Richardson as Mrs. Bustamonte, and Lachele Carl as Miss Noles.
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Anansi Boys is written and executive produced by Neil Gaiman, who is also set as the showrunner. Gaiman, Henry, Douglas Mackinnon, Hanelle M. Culpepper, Hilary Bevan Jones, and Richard Fee are set as executive producers, with Paul Frift producing.