Neil Gaiman Explains Why He Recast Lucifer For Netflix’s The Sandman

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After spending decades in development hell, with countless filmmakers trying and failing to adapt the source material for live-action, Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman finally started shooting in October of last year. The creator of the comic book favorite has been heavily involved in the development of the project with showrunner Allan Heinberg, and serves as one of the executive producers alongside David S. Goyer, one of the many names to take a crack at turning it into a movie over the years.

The production has done a great job of keeping things under wraps so far, and only in the last few days has official casting news started filtering out. Tom Sturridge has been confirmed as Dream, Logan‘s Boyd Holbrook is on board as Corinthian, Charles Dance will lend his gravitas to the role of Roderick Burgess, and Taron Egerton has been heavily rumored to reprise his vocal performance from The Sandman audiobook as John Constantine.

Perhaps the most interesting reveal, though, was that Game of Thrones and Star Wars actress Gwendoline Christie will tackle Lucifer, which is about as far away from Tom Ellis as you can get. Despite originating in the same comic and both being housed at Netflix, Gaiman recently explained his decision to go in a completely different direction when it came to casting The Sandman‘s version of the character, saying:

“The theology and cosmogony of Lucifer is a long way from Sandman‘s. It’s ‘inspired by’ Sandman, but you can’t easily retrofit the Lucifer version to get back to Sandman, if you see what I mean. It seemed easier and more fun to have the Sandman version of Lucifer be, well, much closer to the Sandman version of Lucifer.”

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As suave and charismatic as Ellis is, his spin on the son of the Devil from the entertaining if hollow supernatural procedural never felt like a good fit for a true adaptation of The Sandman. Ironically, both projects now exist under the same roof at Netflix, but it would be fair to say that the upcoming series will be a lot darker and more mature than Lucifer.

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