Gwendoline Christie (Brienne) is only one Game of Thrones veteran in the cast of The Sandman, Netflix’s adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s seminal comic.
After months of anticipation and a boatload of rumors, the first seven cast members for Netflix’s upcoming adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s seminal comic The Sandman have been announced. The star-studded lineup includes the actor who will play the title role of Dream of the Endless, as well as two Game of Thrones veterans!
The Sandman is one of the most beloved comics of all time. It’s a sprawling tale of epic and urban fantasy mixed with horror and legend, all beautifully penned by Neil Gaiman, a master of storytelling. It follows Morpheus, aka Dream, as he carries out his duty as the Master of Dreams. Within the pages of The Sandman, we are taken on wondrous adventures, visiting The Dreaming, Earth, Hell and everywhere in between. Some stories even place us in the center of Shakespearean plays or Greek myths! The imagination is boundless.
Announced in July 2019 by Netflix, The Sandman is to become the most expensive TV show DC Entertainment has ever produced. Last year, production on the series was put on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, in October 2020, Neil Gaiman confirmed that filming had commenced. Until today, the cast was kept under strict lock and key. The have been many rumors circulating the internet about who’s playing who, most of them debunked by Gaiman. Today, in what felt like a grand event over on Twitter, Gaiman and Netflix announced the first seven members of The Sandman. Let’s take a look:
Tom Sturridge is Dream
Out of the thousands of names that have been thrown around for a live-action version of the dour Dream, we finally have our man. Tom Sturridge was reported to have landed the role a while back, and now we know it’s official.
He looks perfect in this picture…. and kinda like a younger Neil Gaiman, as a lot of fans have noticed. Dream in the comics looks a bit like Gaiman, so this fits.
I’m going to have to see him in costume to see how that translates. So far, so good!
Gwendoline Christie is Lucifer
No doubt Gwendoline Christie is a familiar name to Game of Thrones fans. She is best known for her portrayal of Brienne of Tarth on the HBO series. Now, she’s going to appear as Lucifer, the Ruler of Hell, in The Sandman.
Similar to Tom Sturridge, Christie’s involvement with the show was leaked early, although nobody knew who she was playing. A lot of people thought she would make a great Desire, one of Dream’s six siblings, but she also makes the perfect Lucifer. She’s got the menace and presence to pull that part of. Tom Ellis — who plays Lucifer on Lucifer, which is itself based on The Sandman — has some competition.
Her casting also pretty much confirms that there will be no crossover with the Lucifer TV show, but that was unlikely anyway.
Charles Dance is Roderick Burgess
Talk about an inspired cast! Game of Thrones alum Charles Dance (Tywin Lannister) joins The Sandmand as Roderick Burgess, founder and Lord Magus of the Order of the Ancient Mysteries. Burgess is a despicable character who inadvertently captures Dream instead of Death — another of Dream’s siblings — at the top of the story.
Burgess isn’t a recurring character in the comics. He only appears in volume one, “Preludes and Nocturnes.” This seems too big of an actor to use for only one season. Could Netflix twist the source material to keep him in the story for longer? Then again, maybe they could only land someone as big as Dance based on the promise that he wouldn’t have to stick around for many seasons.
Boyd Holdbrook is The Corinthian
Out of all the actors confirmed so far, Holbrook might be my favorite. He looks exactly like the Corinthian from the comics, except that the doesn’t have mouths full of jagged teeth for eyes. Some months back it was rumored that Dacre Montgomery and Liam Hemsworth may play this murderous nightmare creature, but neither of them compares to Holbrook.
The Corinthian is an escaped nightmare created by Dream. Once on earth, he wreaks havoc. He even creates a serial killer convention, which is both hilarious and terrifying.
Now all Holbrook needs is to practice that deep, condescending, seductive voice. Riz Ahmed perfected it in Audible’s Sandman adaptation.
Vivienne Acheampong is Lucienne
Vivienne Acheampong’s addition to the cast marks one of the first major changes from the comic. Lucien, the chief librarian in The Dreaming, is now Lucienne (absolutely love the name).
Lucienne is pointy-eared, wise, and runs the grandest library ever known. She is also one of Dream’s most trusted guardians of his realm. In her library, she collects every book ever imagined, even if they were never actually written.
Acheampong’s portrayal is bound to be exciting. Seeing her take on the character has instantly become one of my most anticipated things about the show.
Sanjeev Bhaskar is Cain and Asim Chadhry is Abel
Cain and Abel — The First Predator and The First Victim — are easily two of the most entertaining inhabitants of The Dreaming. Their relationship is also by far the most brutal, since Cain kills his brother all the time. Cain is played by Sanjeev Bhaskar, and his brother Abel will be portrayed by Asim Chadhry. Again, they’re both fantastic choices — and both comedians so we’re guaranteed some laughs.
Asim Chadhry in particular looks a lot like Abel from the comics. It’s quite uncanny. Even the actor himself has joked about it:
There are a lot of notable absentees from this list such as Death and the rest of the Endless, but after waiting so long, I’m not complaining. Gaiman has teased that there will be “hundreds” more actors confirmed in more cast announcements going forward.
In other Sandman news, Audible will be adapting more of the original comic after putting out Part 1, according to Variety. The wonderful cast, featuring the likes of James McAvoy and Michael Sheen, will return.
With a Netflix show and an Audible dramatization, now is a very good time to be a fan of The Sandman. Hopefully, we can expect more cast announcements soon. Any guesses for Death?