Neil Gaiman On Sandman: Cumberbatch, Hiddleston And An Imminent Script


There is good reason to be getting very excited for the film adaptation of Sandman that is currently in development. Jack Thorne is writing a script under the supervision of David S. Goyer and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and this is the closest that anybody has ever come to getting Neil Gaiman’s beloved 1989 graphic novel onto the screen. Many have tried, and many have failed – some scuppered by Gaiman himself, in his quest to prevent the production of versions of his work that he felt were below par. This time, however, it seems the creator himself is being kept at the centre of the endeavour – as he explained to the Radio Times.

“I’m just happy that no bad Sandman movie has ever been made. But I’m really hoping that a good one will be. They’re a good team. And with Joseph Gordon-Levitt in charge, his instincts are good and he loves the material. He wants it to be true to the material. Every now and then I’ll come in, and the last time I was in was earlier this year – spending a day in a hotel room with Joe, and going over everything and answering questions with and so on and so forth.

So, they’ve written a script. I got a phone call about two or three weeks ago from Joe and David saying ‘Jack did a script. We read it. We want some things done to it. We want you to see it, but not this version. The next version will be in three weeks and then you’ll be the first person to see it’. So, I am now a week before seeing the script. It’s going to come in just before Christmas. I’m nervous, I’m on tenterhooks. But do I have good feelings? Yeah, I do.”

Many fans would suggest that a Gaiman-approved Sandman script would be a fantastic Christmas gift after all these years, but the question still remains, who could fill the iconic lead role of Morpheus – a being that rules the realm of dreams? With decades of experience dealing with adaptation attempts, Neil Gaiman has had plenty of time to give it some thought.

“It’s a funny thing with Morpheus. Again, it’s that thing where you look around and think, ‘Yes, this person would be a fantastic person’, and then time passes. There was a time when Johnny Depp would’ve been a great Morpheus, but now he’s too old, and it’s fine. I think the first time I saw Benedict [Cumberbatch] was as Sherlock Holmes. I thought, ‘Wow, that’s incredibly Morpheus’.

“Then again, Tom Hiddleston is still out there! And the truth is, as far as I’m concerned, anybody who sounds English with great cheekbones can probably pull it off.”

So, with a script about to be delivered for the author’s approval, we simply need some English-sounding cheekbones to see the Sandman adaptation we’ve all been waiting for finally go before the cameras. Of course, Cumberbatch and Hiddleston are both already associated with comic book characters – playing Doctor Strange and Loki, respectively, for Marvel. So, who else has the bone structure to fill the shoes of Morpheus? Let us know your casting suggestions in the comments below.