In Neil Gaiman’s Sandman series, the lord of the Dreaming’s journey from imprisonment by mortals back into his abstract realm of thought brings him face to face with a number of figures across the unraveling reality. And now, Netflix’s adaptation has found a few of those faces, and the Dream himself.
It was going to be important for Netflix to find an actor capable of embodying Dream for its upcoming adaptation, but it was just as—if not more so—crucial the the live-action Sandman’s cast to be stacked with the kind of talent capable of bringing figures like Lucifer, Can, and Abel to life on the screen. From the sounds of Netflix’s newest casting announcements, the studio understands this reality, and it’s going to be very interesting to see what Sandman’s roster brings to the table.
Velvet Buzzsaw’s Tom Sturridge stars as Dream, Sandman’s gloomy, contemplative embodiment of dreaming and creativity who becomes entrapped by mortal magic users who were, in actuality, hoping to capture his older sister Death (of the Endless) as part of a plan to achieve immortality. In Gaiman’s Sandman, Dream appears throughout history as various figures who go by different names, and in many instances, Dream interacts with mortals who don’t fully comprehend what he is. The bulk of Sandman focuses on Dream’s search for three of his sacred items—a helm, a gem, and a pouch full of dreaming sand—he used to focus his powers before they were stolen from him as part of his imprisonment.
The Witches’ Vivienne Acheampong joins Sandman as a genderbent and raceswapped version of Lucien, head librarian of the Dreaming, who keeps track of each and every single piece of literature that’s ever been imagined by a living person.
Game of Thrones and Star Wars’ Gwendoline Christie will play the ruler of Hell itself as the show’s version of Lucifer. In Sandman, Lucifer is one of the million kings of hell who hold some position of power, but Lucifer himself (now herself here) is somewhat less interested in reigning as king as some of his peers who happen to come into possession of one of Dream’s sacred items.
Speaking of Westeros! As Lord Magus of the Order of the Ancient Mysteries, Charles Dance’s Roderick Burgess leads the campaign to ensnare Death of the Endless, an endeavor that leads to his organization accidentally capturing Dream—prompting Burgess to imprison him instead in hopes of learning his secrets.
Out of all of Dream’s creations, the Corinthian is one of his biggest disappointments in Gaiman’s Sandman, as he’s a nightmare whose original purpose was to exist as humanity’s inherent fear of darkness and itself. But when the Corinthian goes rogue to become a serial killer who associates with mortal murderers, Dream makes a point of reminding his progeny that he reserves the right to unmake them.
As the Dream’s embodiments of the first murderer and the first victim, Cain and Abel are stuck in a perpetual cycle of acting out the violent slaying that first left Abel dead, and introduced the concept of mortals murdering one another into reality. Within Sandman, the brothers provide a degree of morbid comedic relief, but they also help nurse Dream back to health in the early days after he escapes his imprisonment.
Check back with us for even more developments as Netflix’s Sandman heads into production at some point in the near future.
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