Why Netflix’s The Sandman Didn’t Cast Lucifer’s Tom Ellis As The Devil

Original creator, Neil Gaiman, has revealed why Netflix’s The Sandman adaptation won’t feature Lucifer star Tom Ellis as Lucifer Morningstar. Devised by Gaiman alongside artists Sam Kieth and Mike Dringenberg, the supernatural saga was first published in January 1989. Running for 75 issues, it ultimately concluded in March 1996. However, many of the characters and stories continued on in direct spinoff adventures. Having abandoned his devilish duties in Hell for a new life on Earth, Lucifer was one such character. Devised by Mike Carey, the fallen angel’s own journey was explored between 2000 and 2006. That particular run spawned the Fox-turned-Netflix series of the same name — with the conclusion of Lucifer season 5, Part 1 released in August 2020, and a sixth season already planned.

The Sandman has similarly tried to make it to the screen on multiple occasions over the years. With efforts going all the way back to 1991, it looked for a time like it might finally come to fruition in 2013. With Joseph Gordon-Levitt set to produce, star, and possibly direct, it seemed destined for the big screen. Unfortunately, by 2016, plans fell apart due to creative differences. In 2019, though, Netflix announced that they would produce the series. Filming officially began in October 2020, though The Sandman show’s full cast (including Gwendoline Christie) was released only a few days ago. The casting announcements were met with much praise, though many remained curious why Christie and not Ellis would be embodying Lucifer.

Related: The Sandman: Show Cast & Comic Comparison Guide

Posting to Gaiman’s official Tumblr, one such fan opted to ask the acclaimed author directly about the choice — especially since Netflix produced both shows. The fan, going by the username CleverCunningAmbition, also asked whether the alternate casting meant the two shows would never connect. Soon after, Gaiman actually took the time to respond. Here’s everything he had to say:

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

Lucifer adapted the core premise, which saw Lucifer move to Los Angeles and open a bar. However, from the outset, it followed a procedural form. Across the seasons, it has opened itself to more serialized elements and supernatural conflicts. These have included clashing with such biblical figures as Cain and even the villainous archangel Micheal in Lucifer season 5. With the ending of the recent episode, even God himself had shown up. Regardless, the procedural element has remained. And, even though Lucifer has embraced a wider, overarching mythology, it’s one entirely devised by the showrunners. Similarly, Ellis has made the role completely his own. As such, Gaiman is almost certainly right about the difficulties of making the two universes mesh.

Ellis himself is unlikely to be disappointed. The popular actor recently got to reprise the role during the Arrowverse’s Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover. When Ellis agreed to do so, it was with the insistence that it not retcon or in any way contradict the events of Lucifer. As a result, it was conveyed to be an earlier incarnation of The Devil, from before he’d met Chloe Decker. Though the actor is open to such reprisals and crossovers, Ellis’s main focus has remained his own show. Given that, he’d no doubt agree with Gaiman.

On the other hand, there’s equally no denying that, for all Ellis’s charm in the role, Christie is much closer in appearance to the comic book version. Plus, she is popular in her own right, following noteworthy turns in such as Game of Thrones and more. Christie would also be able to lend the same kind of androgyny to the role that Tilda Swinton popularly did with the Angel Gabriel in 2005’s Constantine movie. Many will likely remain disappointed at the missed crossover potential. Still, between Lucifer and The Sandman, there will at least be two uniquely interesting devils to enjoy in the coming months.

More: Why HBO’s Scrapped Sandman TV Show Never Happened

Source: Neil Gaiman/Tumblr

Originally from https://screenrant.com/sandman-show-netflix-not-cast-tom-ellis-why/

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