The Chicago Journal

Neil Gaiman Defends Sandman’s Lucifer Casting and Offers Explanation on a Different Name at the Helm

In the late 80s, Neil Gaiman and DC introduced the world of Sandman, which quickly became a fan-favorite in the world of graphic novels. Since then, the comic series has been tipped for a theatrical release. However, decades passed and nothing came from the rumors. Rather than take Sandman to the big screens, Gaiman and DC decided to turn it into a series; but during the long wait, another Sandman related series got the green light to launch on TV.

Lucifer, a series inspired by the character from the Sandman lore, quickly received widespread acclaim thanks to Tom Ellis’ charismatic approach to the character. The series ran for six seasons before Netflix announced that Gaiman’s Sandman was finally going to appear under their umbrella.

When the announcement of the cast revealed the names of the actors, Lucifer fans were surprised to see Game of Thrones alumni Gwendoline Christie would be playing the ruler of hell. One fan asked author Neil Gaiman about the decision to snub Tom Ellis. The Sandman writer wrote:

“Because his Lucifer, while inspired by the Lucifer in Sandman, is so far away in terms of Sandman continuity by the end of LUCIFER, that it’s easier on everyone to go back to the version in the comics. And this way you don’t know what our Lucifer is going to do. Tom’s is lovable.”

It was not the first time Gaiman commented on Ellis’ Lucifer. He previously wrote an explanation on Tumblr, saying:

“The theology and cosmogony of Lucifer is a long way from Sandman’s. It’s ‘inspired by’ Sandman, but 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.”

Fans of the show who read the source material will likely agree.

The Sandman is set to debut in 2022 and Tom Sturridge will play the titular character. The series will follow the original premise that has the King of Dreams get captured in an occult ritual and kept prisoner for 105 years. After escaping, Morpheus sets off on a journey to restore his kingdom, The Dreaming.