We already knew that Netflix had something very interesting going on with its adaptation of Sandman when it revealed that Tom Sturridge and Gwendoline Christie would headline as Dream and Lucifer. But now a good chunk more of its magical reality has been cast, and it’s a hell of a list.
Netflix announced a slew of remaining roles for the adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s seminal DC Comics series in a press release today. Set in a mindbending abstract reality blending our own world with the fantastical, Sandman follows Sturridge’s Dream of the Endless as he escapes seven decades of capture in an occult ritual into the modern world, and his journey to rebuild his own metaphysical realm as Dream realises that time has changed him and his fellow Endless.
Three of those Endless were revealed today, with Kirby Howell-Baptiste (The Good Place, Cruella) landing the iconic role of Death, Dream’s grim, yet kind sister. Non-binary actor Mason Alexander Park will play Desire, another of Dream’s siblings in the Endless, while Donna Preston will play Desire’s twin, Despair. Joining the slightly less abstract side of things is Doctor Who’s Jenna Coleman will play Johanna Constantine (yes, of the Constantines), an exorcist and “Occult Adventuress for Hire” from the 18th century, who will also appear in the series’ modern-day story (and has been the subject of her own Sandman spinoff books).
Joely Richardson and Niamh Walsh will play the older and younger versions of Ethel Cripps, respectively, a troubled young woman who develops into a master of disguise and thievery. David Thewlis will play Ethel’s “dangerous, insane” son, John Dee.
We’re not done yet! Rose Walker will play Kyo Ra, a woman looking for her missing brother only to cross Dream’s path, uncovering a mysterious connection between herself and the Endless, while Stephen Fry will play Gilbert, Rose’s “debonair protector,” and Razane Jammal will play Lyta Hall, Rose’s travelling companion and closest friend. Rounding out the casting news is Sandra James Young as Unity Kincaid, a rich heiress and Rose’s benefactor, while Patton Oswalt will lend his voice to Dream’s raven emissary, Matthew the Raven.
“Every afternoon I get an email telling me that there are ‘dailies’ from The Sandman ready to be watched. It’s the best bit of the day,” Sandman scribe Gaiman said in a statement released to press alongside the casting. “Once every couple of weeks I get an email letting me know that there’s a finished episode waiting for me to watch it. It’s the best bit of the month. The Sandman is being made, and it’s… well, it’s The Sandman. Which is the best thing of all.”
“Of course, there are more delights and nightmares cast than I’ve listed here, and we have a few more secrets up our sleeves,” the author added. “I can’t wait until you can start watching.”
We’ll bring you more on Netflix’s plans for The Sandman as and when we learn them.