Tom Sturridge and The Sandman
Gwendoline Christie and Asim Chadhry

We now know who will play Dream, Lucifer, and other major characters in the long-awaited live-action Neil Gaiman comic book adaptation.

The Endless search to find Dream is over. He’ll be played by Tom Sturridge, best known for appearing in Richard Curtis comedy The Boat That Rocked – as well as several theater productions.

Perhaps the biggest name on the announcement is Gwendoline Christie, who is stepping into the fiery shoes of Lucifer. Fellow Game of Thrones alumni Charles Dance will play Roderick Burgess, described as a charlatan and blackmailer. And sorcerer.

Originally created by Neil Gaiman, Sam Kieth, and Mike Dringenberg, The Sandman is about Dream, the humanoid embodiment of storytelling, and what he decides to do with his immortal life after escaping a decades-long captivity at the hands of human sorcerers and returning to his realm in The Dreaming. Netflix has announced that Tony-nominated actor Tom Sturridge (Orphans, Sea Wall/A Life) will play Dream (also called Morpheus in the comics) in the new series.

The Sandman is far from a solo story, though; a major reason the comic is so beloved is its colorful cast of supporting characters, and some of those roles have been cast as well. Gwendoline Christie (Game of Thrones) will play Lucifer, the ruler of Hell whom Dream must visit shortly after his escape, while Vivienne Acheampong (The Witches) will play Lucienne, chief librarian of The Dreaming and Dream’s most trusted lieutenant. Interestingly, these casting choices represent gender flips from the comic, where both characters are depicted as male.

Christie isn’t even the only Game of Thrones veteran on board for The Sandman. Charles Dance will play Roderick Burgess, human magician and leader of the cult that captures Dream. Rounding out the initial cast, Boyd Holbrook (Logan) will play the Corinthian, a living nightmare whose eyes are made of teeth, while Sanjeev Bhaskar and Asim Chaudhry will play Cain and Abel. Millennia after becoming the first murderer and the first victim, Cain and Abel now live as storytellers in neighboring houses in The Dreaming, though their sibling rivalry still manifests in the form of deadly violence.

Neil Gaiman and characters

From Gaiman: “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.”

The official logline: “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.”

At least one big name is missing from this list: Death, Dream’s sister and goth girl icon. It’s hard to imagine any version of The Sandman that doesn’t include her, so it’s safe to assume there will be more castings announced before the show premieres.


David Raiklen
David Raiklen

David Raiklen wrote, directed and scored his first film at age 9. He began studying keyboard and composing at age 5. He attended, then taught at UCLA, USC and CalArts. Among his teachers are John Williams and Mel Powel.
He has worked for Fox, Disney and Sprint. David has received numerous awards for his work, including the 2004 American Music Center Award. Dr. Raiklen has composed music and sound design for theater (Death and the Maiden), dance (Russian Ballet), television (Sing Me a Story), cell phone (Spacey Movie), museums (Museum of Tolerance), concert (Violin Sonata ), and film (Appalachian Trail).
His compositions have been performed at the Hollywood Bowl and the first Disney Hall. David Raiken is also host of a successful radio program, Classical Fan Club.