Movie Reviews

‘The Sandman’ Adds 12 to the Cast Including Death, Despair and Johanna Constantine

DC Comics has announced 12 more cast members for the Netflix series adaptation of The Sandman. The series, tells the story of the Lord of Dreams, Morpheus (aka Sandman and Dream), and his family members Death, Destruction, Destiny, Despair, Desire and Delirium. The series will be led by Tom Sturridge as Dream and Gwendoline Christie as Lucifer.

They join the previously announced cast members of Vivienne Acheampong as Lucienne, Boyd Holbrook as the Corinthian, Charles Dance as Roderick Burgess, Asim Chaudhry as Abel, and Sanjeev Bhaskar as Cain. Along with the casting announcement, Gaiman himself announced that, “There are more parts to be announced and I thought it would be fun to tell you about some of them, and the thinking behind them…”

RELATED: The Sandman Star Boyd Holbrook Teases Future Seasons While Breaking Down His Netflix Audition

  • Kirby Howell-Baptiste as Death – Dream’s wiser, nicer, and much more sensible sister. Significantly harder to cast than you might imagine (well, than I imagined, anyway). Hundreds of talented women from all around the planet auditioned, and they were brilliant, and none of them were right. Someone who could speak the truth to Dream, on the one hand, but also be the person you’d want to meet when your life was done on the other.
  • Mason Alexander Park as Desire – Dream’s sibling and everything you want, whatever you want and whoever you are. Desire is also trouble for Dream. Families are complicated.
  • Donna Preston as Despair – Desire’s twin, Dream’s sister. She is the moment when all hope is gone, the bleakest of the Endless.
  • Razane Jamal as Lyta Hall – Rose’s friend, a young widow mourning her husband Hector. Rose doesn’t know that Hector has started showing up in Lyta’s dreams, though. Or that strange things are happening.
  • David Thewlis as John Dee – Ethel’s son is dangerous. He was driven mad, long ago. Now he’s out and on a quest for Truth that may destroy the world. We needed an actor who could break your heart and keep your sympathy while taking you into the darkest places.
  • Kyo Ra as Rose Walker – A young woman on a desperate search for her missing brother, who finds a family she didn’t know that she had, and a connection to Dream that neither of them can escape. We needed someone young who could make you care as she ventures into some very dangerous places. Boyd Holbrook’s Corinthian is waiting for her, after all.
  • Patton Oswalt as the voice of Matthew the Raven – Dream’s trusted emissary. A raven. I expected our animals to be CGI, and was both taken aback and thrilled when the dailies started coming in, and there was Dream talking to… well, a raven. But ravens don’t really talk. The question was, could we find an actor who could make you care about a dead person who was now a bird in the Dreaming – one who isn’t certain what’s going on, or whether any of this is a good idea? And could we find a voice performer who was also the kind of Sandman fan who used to stand in line to get his Sandman comics signed? The answer was yes.
  • Stephen Fry as Gilbert – Rose Walker’s debonair protector. A dab hand with a paradox and a sword cane.
  • Jenna Coleman as Johanna Constantine – Eighteenth Century occult adventuress, John Constantine’s great-great-great grandmother. This Sandman character became so popular that she even had her own spin-off series. I created her to fill the role that John Constantine does in the past. When we broke down the first season, given that we knew that we would be encountering Johanna in the past, we wondered what would happen if we met a version of her in the present as well. We tried it and the script was sparkier, feistier, and in some ways even more fun. So having written her, we just had to cast her.
  • Joely Richardson as Ethel Cripps, Niamh Walsh as Young Ethel Cripps – Roderick Burgess’s love, John Dee’s mother, is a small but vital role in the comics, but she became more important as we told our story.
  • Sandra James Young as Unity Kincaid – Heiress, Rose’s mysterious benefactor. She has spent a century asleep. Now she’s awake, having missed out on her life.

“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 idea is to stay faithful to Sandman, but to do it for now rather than making it a 1980s period piece. In Sandman No. 1, there is a sleeping sickness that occurs because Morpheus, the Lord of Dreams, is captured in 1916, and in 1988 he escapes. Instead of him being a captive for about 80 years, he’s going to be a captive for about 110 years and that will change things.”

What we know is that the series will be a rich blend of modern myth and dark fantasy. Contemporary fiction, historical drama, and legend are all seamlessly interwoven. Based on The Sandman comic series of the same name, created for DC Comics by Neil Gaiman (Good Omens, Coraline). Gaiman will also serve as both Co-Writer and Executive Producer of the Netflix Series, which will be produced by WB Television.


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