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the sandman

James McAvoy Talks Voicing Dream In The Sandman Audio Books

James McAvoy reveals why he enjoys playing Dream in the ongoing series of audiobooks adapting Neil Gaiman's classic series.
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Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman is one of the most well-regarded comics of all time. The 75 issues released between 1989 and 1996 tell the saga of the Endless, an immortal family who personify basic elements of reality. The focus is the Lord of Dreams (aka Morpheus/Dream/The Sandman), whose journey takes him across history, through weird dimensions, and into hell itself. 

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Many attempts have been made to adapt it over the years, with the most prominent being Netflix’s highly anticipated live-action series. But last year saw an excellent take arrive on Audible. This had a star-studded cast and comprised the first three volumes of the graphic novel. The follow-up has just been released and adapts the next three books, and star James McAvoy has revealed why playing Dream is so special.

In an interview with Collider, he said:

“I don’t know. There’s something quite peculiar about a lot of the artwork, which is great. And I’m not saying that’s not who he is to people who see him that way, but I don’t know. I just saw him a bit more ordinary at times. There’s something strangely banal about Morpheus sometimes which I quite like, because he’s such a… It’s not ethereal, but it’s a physical fantastical figure. And yet there’s something quite mundane and domestic about him sometimes. I quite like that.”

McAvoy does an incredible job as Dream in these audiobooks, making him appear both impossibly powerful and ancient while recognizably a person. The rest of the cast is no slouch either, with the new release featuring the likes of Jeffrey Wright, Regé-Jean Page, Brian Cox, Emma Corrin, John Lithgow, David Tennant, Bill Nighy, and – a very fun pick – Kevin Smith as Merv Pumpkinhead.

The recent teaser for the Netflix show may indicate it’s nearly ready, but as yet, we have no release date other than “coming soon” so it’s probably not out until 2022. In the meantime, the new The Sandman audiobook is out now, with a third volume collecting the final two books likely arriving next year.

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David James
I'm a writer/editor who's been at the site since 2015. Love writing about video games and will crawl over broken glass to write about anything related to Hideo Kojima. But am happy to write about anything and everything, so long as it's interesting!