The Sandman: Neil Gaiman Breaks Some Bad News to A David Bowie Fan

Once again, it looks like we have some "good news/bad news" when it comes to Netflix's upcoming The Sandman adaptation from creator, EP & co-writer Neil Gaiman (Good Omens); EP, co-writer & showrunner Allan Heinberg (Wonder Woman); and EP & co-writer David S. Goyer (Foundation). On the "good news" side, we might be seeing Tom Ellis fans backing off now that Joe Henderson (co-showrunner & EP on Ellis' series) has offered his support of Gwendoline Christie's casting as Lucifer and Cassie Clare's casting as Mazikeen. But the "bad news"? It looks like some David Bowie fans are coming out of the woodwork to call out Gaiman for not casting the hall-of-fame rock star and musician as Lucifer. And it's understandable when you see the number of times the character is portrayed to look like Ziggy Stardust's real-life alter-ego. But then there's the matter of Bowie not only being dead (which would be definitive enough) but also his having passed away over six years ago. Unfortunately, that was the bad news Gaiman had to deliver to one person on Twitter. "Dude. This is going to hurt, but David Bowie's dead," Gaiman revealed via social media, pulling off the emotional band-aid for what we fear may be more than just this individual. "We knew he wasn't available to play Lucifer any longer. That's why we cast Gwendoline Christie."

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Image: Netflix; Screencap

Here's a look at Gaiman's tweet from earlier today breaking the nearly seven-years-old bad news to the unfortunate soul:

In the first clip from the series (Episode 4), Dream (Tom Sturridge) heads to Hell to retrieve his stolen Helmet of Dreams from one of the demons of Lucifer (and make sure to keep a watch on some familiar faces showing up in this scene, too). Following that, a scene from Episode 6 finds Death (Kirby Howell-Baptiste) coming  to claim an elderly violist:

With the series set to premiere on August 5th, here's a look at the official trailer for Netflix's The Sandman:

Kirby Howell-Baptiste shared some thoughts on playing Death, Morpheus aka Dream's (Tom Sturridge) sibling, during a recent interview with EW. First up, fans of the comics will appreciate Death's first appearance happening in an episode titled "The Sound of Her Wings" (check out The Sandman #8), and from what Gaiman had to share previously, viewers should expect to have their minds blown by Howell-Baptiste's performance. "We saw a lot of Deaths, well into the many hundreds. But Kirby had a quality that was unique of being able to speak honestly to power," Gaiman revealed. "That honesty, and the fact that she could deliver those lines and you believe them, were what sold me on Kirby 100 percent. We had supermodels, we had all sorts of amazing people a lot more famous than Kirby auditioning. But I didn't believe they were Death. I didn't believe they were Tom's [Sturridge] big sister that could boss him around. Then Kirby came on, and it was just like, 'I love you, I believe you, and you're it.'" Now here's a look at what Howell-Baptiste had to say:

On What Makes Gaiman's Death So Special: "Most of the time when we see a representation of Death, it's so focused on the end. But this character says, 'I was there in the beginning, and I'll be there in the end.' Death is born of life. I think there's something very beautiful and cyclical about her position in the world because it's so much about the full journey that she is there for. That lends itself to a more feminine energy — there is this much more nurturing, caring side to Death than we've ever seen before."

On Howell-Baptiste & Sturridge's Sibling Chemistry: "It's rare to get presented with a role where you already know so much about the world. Because we both knew our characters so well and were both so invested, we came together really easily. Tom [Sturridge] and I have this natural chemistry for a sibling relationship."

A rich blend of modern myth and dark fantasy in which contemporary fiction, historical drama, and legend are seamlessly interwoven, The Sandman follows the people and places affected by Morpheus, the Dream King, as he mends the cosmic — and human — mistakes he's made during his vast existence.

"For the last thirty-three years, the Sandman characters have breathed and walked around and talked in my head. I'm unbelievably happy that now, finally, they get to step out of my head and into reality. I can't wait until the people out there get to see what we've been seeing as Dream and the rest of them take flesh, and the flesh belongs to some of the finest actors out there," said Gaiman in a statement coinciding with the initial casting news on the series. "This is astonishing, and I'm so grateful to the actors and to all of The Sandman collaborators — Netflix, Warner Bros., DC, to Allan Heinberg and David Goyer, and the legions of crafters and geniuses on the show — for making the wildest of all my dreams into reality."

Stemming from Warner Bros. TV, Netflix's The Sandman stars Tom Sturridge, Gwendoline Christie, Vivienne Acheampong, Boyd Holbrook, Charles Dance, Asim Chaudhry, Sanjeev Bhaskar, Kirby Howell-Baptiste, Mason Alexander Park, Donna Preston, Jenna Coleman, Niamh Walsh, Joely Richardson, David Thewlis, Kyo Ra, Stephen Fry, Razane Jammal, Sandra James Young, Patton Oswalt, and Mark Hamill.

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About Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought onto the core BC team in 2017.
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