Portland News

Sandman Author Neil Gaiman Offers Explanation on Tom Ellis Snub for The Sandman

Neil Gaiman explains decision to overlook Tom Ellis as Lucifer in The Sandman
Neil Gaiman explains decision to overlook Tom Ellis as Lucifer in The Sandman

In 1989, Neil Gaiman and DC comics produced a series of publications titled The Sandman, which quickly won readers over. The comics were published on the Vertigo imprint and won several awards. Since then, there has been speculation over the comic’s adaptation to the big or small screen. After decades of rumors and failed starts, the Sandman is finally making its way to Netflix.

During the wait, Fox produced a series that revolved around Lucifer Morningstar, who had also appeared in the Sandman comics. It quickly became popular as Tom Ellis’ charisma won fans over. The show also made use of the Sandman lore, so when Netflix picked up the series, Lucifer fans expected Ellis to continue his portrayal. However, the Netflix teasers showed a different performer at the helm, prompting Lucifer fans to question the casting.

The casting was revealed some time ago and showed Gwendoline Christie of Game of Thrones fame as the ruler of hell. Fans of the Fox show asked why Ellis had been replaced for the show, and Sandman author Neil Gaiman answered one fan’s question on Twitter.

“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.”

Gaiman previously offered a similar explanation on Tumblr, where he explained:

“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.”

The Sandman will finally debut on Netflix later in 2022 after decades of speculation. The show will feature Tom Sturridge as the titular character. The story will follow Morpheus, the king of dreams and one of the seven Endless, who gets captured in an occult ritual. Held captive for 105 years, he escapes the trap and sets out to restore order in his kingdom, The Dreaming.

Opinions expressed by Portland News contributors are their own.