‘The View’: Whoopi Goldberg Leaving Temporarily to Film ‘Anansi Boys’

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Whoopi Goldberg is leaving The View temporarily to film the new Amazon Studios series Anansi Boys. Goldberg’s casting in the TV adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s novel was announced April 7. Her hiatus was announced by co-host Joy Behar on The View on April 12.

“If you’re wondering where Whoopi is, the girl’s got a movie she’s making and she will be back when she finishes whatever she’s doing. So she’s gone for a while,” Behar said. In Goldberg’s place as guest host was CNN conservative political commentator Alyssa Farah Griffin. Behar incorrectly stated Goldberg was filming a movie. Anansi Boys will be a six-episode limited series at Prime Video and is currently filming at FirstStage Studios in Leith, Scotland. It’s not clear how long Goldberg’s hiatus will be.

“Anansi Boys follows Charlie Nancy (Malachi Kirby) — sometimes known as Fat Charlie (it was his father’s nickname for him; he’s not fat) — a young man who is used to being embarrassed by his estranged father,” Prime Video teases of the series. “But when his father dies, Charlie discovers that he was Anansi: Trickster God of stories (played by Delroy Lindo). And he learns that he has a brother. Now that brother, Spider (also played by Kirby), is entering Charlie’s life, determined to make it more interesting — but making it a lot more dangerous instead.”

Goldberg will play one of Anansi Boys‘ key antagonists, Bird Woman, God of Birds. The character is part of the “pantheon of gods who make up the mythical World Before Time,” per the series description, “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 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. Gaiman said he always imagined Goldberg playing Bird Woman if it was adapted for the screen.

“When I first conceived Anansi Boys, decades ago, I imagined Whoopi Goldberg as Bird Woman,” he said in a statement. “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.”

Joining Goldberg, Kirby, and Lindo in the cast are leading ladies Amarah-Jae St. Aubyn (Small Axe) and Grace Saif (13 Reasons Why). The cast of animal gods from the World Before Time features Hakeem Kae-Kazim as Tiger, Emmanuel Ighodaro as Lion, Cecilia Noble as Elephant, Ayanna Witter-Johnson as Snake, and Don Gilet as Monkey.

Gaiman will serve as co-showrunner, writer, and executive producer. Douglas Mackinnon will serve as co-showrunner as well. The series is developed by Amazon Studios, The Blank Corporation, Endor Productions, and RED Production company. Gaiman has an overall deal with Amazon Studios.

The View, Weekdays, ABC

Anansi Boys, Series Premiere, TBA, Prime Video

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