‘The Stand’: Whoopi Goldberg to Play Mother Abagail on CBS All Access’ Stephen King Adaptation

Jovan Adepo, Owen Teague, Brad William Henke and Daniel Sunjata also join limited series

Whoopi Goldberg
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CBS All Access has found Mother Abagail for its upcoming adaption of Stephen King’s “The Stand,” revealing during “The View” on Wednesday that Whoopi Goldberg will play the role.

Mother Abagail is a 108-year old prophet who receives visions from God and guides survivors of the superflu, a plague that decimates the world’s population. Along with Goldberg, Jovan Adepo, Owen Teague, Brad William Henke and Daniel Sunjata have also joined the series. Previously announced cast members include James Marsden, Amber Heard, Odessa Young and Henry Zaga.

“The Stand” is King’s apocalyptic vision of a world decimated by plague and embroiled in an elemental struggle between good and evil. The fate of mankind rests on the frail shoulders of the 108-year-old Mother Abagail (Goldberg) and a handful of survivors. Their worst nightmares are embodied in a man with a lethal smile and unspeakable powers: Randall Flagg, the Dark Man.

The novel marks the first appearance of Flagg, a frequent villain that pops up in King’s other works. Flagg remains the last key role still to be cast on the CBS All Access adaptation.

Adepo will play Larry Underwood, described as a young musician with a taste for fame, as well as illegal substances. When the plague hits, he is forced to confront his demons as he makes his way to the new world. Teague will portray Harold Lauder. After the superflu ravages his town, Harold goes in search of others with fellow survivor Frannie Goldsmith (Young). While his intentions are good, jealousy and his infatuation with Frannie threaten to lead him down a dark path.

Henke will portray Tom Cullen, Nick Andros’ (Zaga) traveling companion who is developmentally disabled due to a terrible fall as a child. Sunjata will play Cobb, a member of the military tasked with supervising Stu Redman (Marsden) as the government searches for a cure during the outbreak of the superflu.

King himself will pen the finale for the series, which will be something that was not included in his novel. According to CBS All Access, it will provide “a new coda that won’t be found in the book.” The adaptation will be written and directed by Josh Boone, who is best known for directing “The Fault in Our Stars.”

The series will be produced by CBS Television Studios. Boone and Ben Cavell will write and executive produce, with Roy Lee, Jimmy Miller and Richard P. Rubinstein also serving as executive producers. Will Weiske and Miri Yoon are attached as co-executive producers, with Owen King as a producer.