Harry Potter, Doctor Who veterans join cast of Netflix’s The Sandman

UNSPECIFIED - APRIL 06: In this screengrab, Patton Oswalt speaks during the 19th Annual VES Awards Gala on April 06, 2021. (Photo by VES 2021 via Getty Images)
UNSPECIFIED - APRIL 06: In this screengrab, Patton Oswalt speaks during the 19th Annual VES Awards Gala on April 06, 2021. (Photo by VES 2021 via Getty Images) /

Death! Despair! Desire! Netflix fills out the cast of its coming adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman with some big names.

Netflix is adapting Neil Gaiman’s brilliant comic book The Sandman for TV. It’s already announced several of the cast members, including Tom Sturridge as the dour Dream, Game of Thrones veteran Gwendoline Christie as Lucifer, other Game of Thrones veteran Charles Dance as the greedy wizard Roderick Burgess, Boyd Holdbrook as nightmare creature The Corinthian, and more.

But The Sandman is an epic story with a ton of characters, and Netflix is by no means done. Today, they announced several new cast members, including some heavy hitters. Let’s take a look.

Kirby Howell-Baptiste is Death

Dream’s sister Death is a key character from the comics and probably the biggest missing link in the cast before now. Dream and his siblings, known as the Endless, all represent different parts of the human experience. Death’s role in life is obvious by her name, although she’s not a sad sack like her brother: apart from a fondness for goth-y clothing (in the comics, at least), she seems like the sunniest, most well-adjusted member of the Endless.

Mason Alexander Park is Desire

Another of Dream’s siblings, Desire is among the closest things The Sandman has to a villain, although that’s not really the kind of story this is. Neither male nor female, Desire is smart, subtle and has a habit of stirring the pot. Park is also in Netflix’s live-action remake of Cowboy Bebop, incidentally.

Donna Preston is Despair

Despair is Desire’s twin sister and an accomplice in some of their schemes, but she seems to be a bit more relaxed and melancholy. Her name is Despair, after all.

Jenna Coleman is Johanna Constantine

Doctor Who veteran Jenna Coleman (she played companion Clara Oswald) is playing Johanna Constantine, the canonical great-great-great grandmother of magical DC hero John Constantine, who has a role in the early parts of The Sandman. Johanna also has a part in The Sandman, although it’s curious that they would announce who’s playing her before they reveal who’s playing her more famous ancestor.

Niamh Walsh as Young Ethel Cripps

Ethel Cripps is the mistress of Roderick Burgess, Charles Dance’s character. The Sandman kicks off when Roderick and his magical buddies trap Dream in a sort of suspended state. But Dream is immortal and they are not, which means all he has to do is wait.

Joely Richardson is Ethel Cripps

Years later, Ethel makes off with some very important items that push the plot forward. She’s also the mother of another memorable, very creepy character:

Ugh, this guy…John Dee is the given name of DC supervillain Doctor Destiny, although I suspect they might be minimizing the DC Comics connections; they’re only present in the early parts of the story, anyway. He gets his hands on some of Dream’s belongings and does some…unsettling things with them.

If you’re wondering where you recognize Thewlis from, he played Remus Lupin in the Harry Potter movies.

Kyo Ra is Rose Walker

Rose is one of the more ordinary people in the story. She’s not an immortal being or a dark wizard, just a woman who gets swept up in their story. Ra will have quite the job grounding this far-out story.

Stephen Fry is Gilbert

British comedy legend Stephen Fry already let slip his role in The Sandman, so we knew this one ahead of time. He’s perfectly cast as an older English gentleman who has a lot more going on than it seems.

Razane Jammal is Lyta Hall

Razane is another fairly normal person in this story — she’s not a god or a sailor’s dream made flesh or anything — although she does have some superheroic connections that may or may not be revealed, depending on how hard the show wants to lean into that part of the story.

Sandra James Young is Unity Kincaid

Unity is Rose’s grandmother, and one of several people afflicted with a mysterious condition after Roderick Burgess imprisons Dream for a few decades. It looks like the show is filling out the cast around Rose’s story, which makes sense, cause again, we’re gonna need someone to bring this wild tale down to earth a bit.

Patton Oswalt is Matthew the Raven

Dream’s chatterbox of a companion and aide will be voiced by comedian and M.O.D.O.K. star Patton Oswalt, which is a great choice.

There are still some key roles to be cast. We don’t know who’s playing Dream’s siblings Destruction, Destiny or Delirium, for instance but this is a long game. There’s no word on a release date for The Sandman yet, but it’s looking better by the minute.

Next. A Beginner’s Guide to Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman. dark

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