Netflix has revealed the full cast for its upcoming adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s mega-selling Sandman comic book – and it’s absolutely filled with big names.
New cast members include Kirby Howell-Baptiste as the character Death, Stephen Fry as Gilbert and Doctor Who’s Jenna Coleman as Johanna Constantine – an ancestor of popular DC Comics magic character John Constantine in the comics. Other cast members include Harry Potter’s David Thewlis, Marvel’s M.O.D.O.K’s Patton Oswalt and Nip/Tuck’s Joely Richardson.
These join already-announced cast members Tom Sturridge, Gwendoline Christie, Vivienne Acheampong, Charles Dance, Sanjeev Bhaskar, Asim Chaudhry and Boyd Holbrook.
Filming on the series began quietly back in October 2020, and we’ve learned almost nothing about the show so far, other than that Wonder Woman screenwriter Allan Heinberg is working on the show with Gaiman and prolific comic adaptation writer David S Goyer. 10 episodes have been ordered for the show.
This is Netflix’s logline for the series: “A rich blend of modern myth and dark fantasy in which contemporary fiction, historical drama and legend are seamlessly interwoven, The Sandman follows the people and places affected by Morpheus, the Dream King, as he mends the cosmic – and human – mistakes he’s made during his vast existence.”
Honestly, if you haven’t read the comics, you might need to see it to truly get why this dark fantasy show is so compelling. Sturridge plays Morpheus in the series, which doesn’t have a release date yet, but will likely release at some point next year.
Here’s Netflix’s official cast announcement:
Jenna Coleman, David Thewlis, Stephen Fry, Patton Oswalt, Joely Richardson, Kirby Howell-Baptiste, Mason Alexander Park, Donna Preston, Niamh Walsh, Kyo Ra, Razane Jammal, and Sandra James Young will co-star alongside Tom Sturridge and Gwendolyn Christie in The Sandman! pic.twitter.com/tlQ97I0xySMay 26, 2021
Analysis: Why you should care about The Sandman
The Sandman was a big bet for Netflix, back when it secured the show in 2019. Even though Sandman is a property owned by Warner Bros, HBO decided not to make the show due to a reportedly enormous price tag, according to THR – which is interesting, considering that streaming service HBO Max is betting big on upcoming DC series like Green Lantern, and that it made a great move into more adult comic book adaptations with its Watchmen TV show.
Still, that could make this a big win for Netflix in the long run. The Sandman comic started back in 1988, and is among the most widely circulated comics ever published. All these years later, its appeal remains evergreen, partly thanks to Gaiman’s mainstream success as an author.
Netflix still hasn’t had a runaway success story with a comic book adaptation other than perhaps the first season of Daredevil, but there’s no doubting the potential of the source material, here. Let’s see if it gets it right.