The EGOT winner will star opposite Malachi Kirby (Small Axe), who was previously cast as both Charlie Nancy (aka Fat Charlie) and his brother, Spider; and Delroy Lindo (The Good Fight), who will play Anansi/Mr. Nancy.
Goldberg’s Bird Woman is the God of Birds and one the show’s key antagonists, according to the streamer. She is but one of a “pantheon of gods who make up the mythical World Before Time — a place that isn’t a place, where the animals who are gods still walk. A place of incredible beauty, magic and danger.”
“I have been a fan of this book for a very long time,” Goldberg said in a statement, “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.”
Added Gaiman: “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 favourite books. Sometimes things feel planned and inevitable, and we are incredibly lucky. She’s going to be scary.”
Read on to see who will play the five other animal gods, along with character breakdowns for their respective roles:
* Hakeem Kae-Kazim (Black Sails) will play 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.
* Emmanuel Ighodaro (the UK Shameless) will play Lion. He’s proud and noble and has no time for Anansi.
* Cecilia Noble (Small Axe) has been cast as Elephant. She’s old and wise, and hates Anansi.
* Ayanna Witter-Johnson will play Snake. She’s beautiful and deadly and hates Anansi.
* Don Gilet (EastEnders) will play Monkey. He’s terrified of Anansi, keen on food—particularly fruit—and has the attention span of, well, a monkey…
Rounding out the ensemble are previously announced cast members Amarah-Jae St. Aubyn (Small Axe) as Rosie Noah; Grace Saif (13 Reasons Why) as Detective Constable Daisy Day; Jason Watkins (The Crown) as Grahame Coats; Fiona Shaw (Killing Eve) as Maeve Livingstone; CCH Pounder (The Shield) as Mrs. Higgler; L. Scott Caldwell (Insecure) as Mrs. Dunwiddy; Joy Richardson (Mrs. Wilson) as Mrs. Bustamonte; and Lachele Carl (Doctor Who) as Miss Noles.