For years, Neverwhere has been the odd, somewhat forgotten stepchild of Neil Gaiman's work: Originally a somewhat unsuccessful television series in the UK, then a novel, then a comic book and stage play... Now, it's crossed over into an all-new medium - Radio - with the kind of cast that is sure to make many corners of the Internet very happy indeed.The story of a secret underground city beneath London, Neverwhere debuted in 1996 as a television series created by Gaiman and British comedian Lenny Henry (with opening titles by Dave McKean and Brian Eno, no less); Gaiman adapted that series into a novel that was re-written for the American market and later re-written again for a new edition that mixed the first two versions together, and Mike Carey and Glenn Fabry adapted the storyline into a Vertigo series in 2005. While Gaiman's other work - From comic books Sandman and The Books of Magic through prose American Gods, Coraline and The Graveyard Book - has found favor and acclaim with fans and critics alike, for some reason, Neverwhere never quite seemed to receive the attention it deserved in any incarnation... Something that this new radio version will hopefully change.

Gaiman announced both the adaptation and details thereof on his blog yesterday. The story will be adapted for BBC Radio 4 by producer/writer Dirk Maggs, who has previously worked on radio versions of DC Comics material and Douglas Adams' Dirk Gently novels, but the true excitement for many, will likely come in the casting, which includes Sherlock's Benedict Cumberbatch, X-Men: First Class' James McAvoy, Buffy The Vampire Slayer's Anthony Head, Game of Thrones' Natalie Domer, Doctor Who's Bernard Cribbins and none other than Christopher Lee - Dracula, Count Dooku, Saruman and Scaramanga - amongst many others ("CHRISTOPHER LEE IS GOING TO BE SAYING LINES I WROTE," Gaiman wrote. "This makes me happier than I have any right to be").

The adaptation is being recorded currently, and will be broadcast in the UK in early 2013. The rest of us should really keep an eye on the Internet, as BBC radio shows are available via BBC iPlayer.

(Via Hypable.)

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