Welcome to Cast Party, the feature that imagines a world with even more live action comic book adaptations than we currently have, and comes up with arguably the best casting suggestions you’re ever going to find for the movies and shows we wish could exist. This week we’re looking at one of the most important comics of my teenage years, Neil Gaiman's Sandman.
There's been talk for years and years about adapting Sandman, with Joseph Gordon Levitt long attached to the project, but it's clearly proving a difficult task. As usual, I'm not concerned with what's actually happening. I'm thinking about what I'd like to see.
This has to be an ongoing series. And it needs a serious budget, so it probably belongs on HBO or maybe Netflix. That way, it'll have the space to cover the series-long arc of Sandman, and have room for stand-alone episodes along the way. With that in mind, and because I have limited space, I've only cast twelve characters, including the seven Endless, who will appear early in the series. I'd like to build on this in future columns and round out this Sandman cast.
Adrien Brody as Dream
Brody has the look of course (although there will still be plenty of makeup involved), and he's also a really great actor, which ought to enable him to find ways to make all the brooding compelling.
Jenna Coleman as Death
I've had this in my head since the first time I saw Coleman on Doctor Who. She's got the face, the build, and the mix of strength and perkiness. Paint her white and put that little spiral on her eye, and she'll seem like she stepped off the page.
Bill Nighy as Destiny
Bill Nighy was born to play Destiny. Destiny was created to be played by Bill Nighy. It's written in the Book.
Sheamus as Destruction
I'm entirely in favor of Sheamus becoming an actor, and not just because I don't love him as a wrestler. He's a grinning ginger giant, and that makes him a perfect Destruction.
Ruby Rose as Desire
Do I even have to explain this? Desire is a genderless being that everyone finds attractive. Rose is a genderqueer person who everyone finds attractive.
Phyllis Smith as Despair
I want to be clear; my choice of Smith has nothing to do with her appearance and everything to do with how wonderful she was as a variation on the same character in Inside Out. Despair is actually the member of the Endless that I think is most in need of some reimagining. I'd like to see her with a little more of the glamour that her siblings have.
Stefanie Scott as Delirium
Scott has done a lot for her age, and she brings a level of intensity that — combined with her childlike features — will be perfect for the youngest of the Endless.
Ben Whishaw as Lucien the Librarian
I can't claim that I'm thinking outside the box here. This is what Whishaw does, and he's great at it.
Matthew Gray Gubler as the Corinthian
Gubler is going to look so creepy with little digitally-inserted mouths for eyes.
Lenny Kravitz as Lucifer
Since David Bowie is no longer with us, I wanted to take Lucifer in a different direction. I liked the idea of choosing a rock star though, and Kravitz was great in The Hunger Games.
Martin Freeman as Hob Gadling
I love the way Freeman can bring something unique to an everyman character, and that's basically what Hob is: An everyman who is unique because he never dies.
Hayley Kiyoko as Rose Walker
Rose is a seemingly normal young woman who keeps getting entangled in Dream's affairs. Kiyoko can bring the necessary combination of humor and skepticism.