ANNOUNCING: The Cast of Netflix's SANDMAN Series!

Decades since the historic and ground-breaking comic first hit the shelves, SANDMAN is finally emerging from its slumber to manifest on the screen! Today, Neil Gaiman posted on his blog the experience with casting the show, as well as a little bit about each character.

You can read his full blog here, but we have provided some highlights below.

To read more about the journey of getting Sandman to screen, head over to!

In Neil Gaiman’s words:

DEATH – Dream’s wiser, nicer, and much more sensible sister. Significantly harder to cast than you might imagine (well, than I imagined, anyway). Hundreds of talented women from all around the planet auditioned, and they were brilliant, and none of them were right. Someone who could speak the truth to Dream, on the one hand, but also be the person you’d want to meet when your life was done on the other. And then we saw Kirby Howell-Baptiste’s (she/her) audition and we knew we had our Death.

DESIRE – Dream’s sibling and everything you want, whatever you want and whoever you are. Desire is also trouble for Dream. Families are complicated. We had barely started looking when Mason Alexander Park (they/them) reached out on Twitter, and threw their hat into the ring. We were thrilled when they got the part.

DESPAIR – Desire’s twin, Dream’s sister. She is the moment when all hope is gone, the bleakest of the Endless. Donna Preston (she/her) will be playing her, and her performance is chilling and sad. You feel her pain.

JOHANNA CONSTANTINE – Eighteenth Century occult adventuress, John Constantine’s great-great-great grandmother. This Sandman character became so popular that she even had her own spin-off series. I created her to fill the role that John Constantine does in the past. When we broke down the first season, given that we knew that we would be encountering Johanna in the past, we wondered what would happen if we met a version of her in the present as well. We tried it and the script was sparkier, feistier, and in some ways even more fun. So having written her, we just had to cast her. Jenna Coleman (she/her) gave us the Johanna of our dreams – tough, brilliant, tricky, haunted and probably doomed.

ETHEL CRIPPS – Roderick Burgess’s love, John Dee’s mother, is a small but vital role in the comics, but she became more important as we told our story. In the 1920s and 30s, she is played by NIAMH WALSH (she/her): a betrayed and determined young woman seeking to survive. In the present day, now a woman of a hundred identities and a thousand lies, she’s played by the brilliant Joely Richardson (she/her).

JOHN DEE – Ethel’s son is dangerous. He was driven mad, long ago. Now he’s out and on a quest for Truth that may destroy the world. We needed an actor who could break your heart and keep your sympathy while taking you into the darkest places. We were lucky that David Thewlis (he/him) took the part.

Now we’re shooting The Doll’s House, the second big Sandman storyline. It’s the story of:

ROSE WALKER – A young woman on a desperate search for her missing brother, who finds a family she didn’t know that she had, and a connection to Dream that neither of them can escape. We needed someone young who could make you care as she ventures into some very dangerous places. Boyd Holbrook’s Corinthian is waiting for her, after all. Kyo Ra (she/her) achieves that as Rose.

LYTA HALL – Rose’s* friend, a young widow mourning her husband Hector. Rose doesn’t know that Hector has started showing up in Lyta’s dreams, though. Or that strange things are happening. Razane Jammal (she/her) is Lyta, and she’s terrific.

UNITY KINKAID - Heiress, Rose’s mysterious benefactor. She has spent a century asleep. Now she’s awake, having missed out on her life. She’s played by Sandra James Young (she/her).

GILBERT – Rose Walker’s debonair protector. A dab hand with a paradox and a sword cane. Stephen Fry (he/him) is a National Treasure, and we forget sometimes that he’s also a remarkable actor. Seeing him in costume and make up on the dailies made me blink: it was as if the comic had come to life.

MATTHEW – Dream’s trusted emissary. A raven. I expected our animals to be CGI, and was both taken aback and thrilled when the dailies started coming in, and there was Dream talking to… well, a raven. But ravens don’t really talk. The question was, could we find an actor who could make you care about a dead person who was now a bird in the Dreaming – one who isn’t certain what’s going on, or whether any of this is a good idea? And could we find a voice performer who was also the kind of Sandman fan who used to stand in line to get his Sandman comics signed? The answer was, we could if we asked Patton Oswalt (he/him). And Patton was the first person we asked, and the first person we cast, the day before we pitched The Sandman to Netflix.

Of course, there are more delights and nightmares cast than I’ve listed here, and we have a few more secrets up our sleeves. I can’t wait until you can start watching.

What are your thoughts on these manifestations? Dream on in the comments below! :point_down:


The casting for this series continues to be BREATHTAKING. David Thewlis is gonna eat it up as Doctor Destiny. And Stephen Fry as Gilbert? Inspirational. Patton Oswalt as Matthew is an incredible get, and I can already tell he’s going to change the way I hear the character’s voice forever. And I love everything I’ve seen Kirby Howell-Baptiste in. She’s going to make an amazing Death.


So cool to see Spider-man’s villian getting his own series, he’s such a great character!:smiley:
(Moderator walk over and whisper in my ear)
:fearful:Umm… Wrong character, sorry. :grinning:It’s awesome that DC Sandman is getting his own show!


Stephen Fry is absolutely my favorite part of this announcement. Really excited for the series!


I am so excited for every single part of this. Especially the … live raven?! (And now I’m inordinately excited for Klokkenluider and the Cowboy Bebop remake.)


Patton Oswalt as Matthew the Raven!!


Seeing the Raven reminds me of the Cajun Wager. So I guess it kind of came true :sweat_smile:

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More great casting, and it’s a fantastic touch to include all the actors’ pronouns here!


Reading this list I thought, “huh, sure are a lot of British actors,” until I remembered this was written by a British guy and yeah, of course everyone is British.

The curse of the living on the East coast of the US is I assume everything takes place in NYC and kind of forget other places in the world exist…

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I’m pretty sure casting Patton Oswalt was done to deflect the obvious why not Henderson Wade?! riots. :smiley: (Though because time is linear, usually seems a perfectly valid response.)

[insert cajun wager gif here] #whydoesthisnotexist?

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Can this show just stream already!!! I can’t hardly wait, the Audible series was SOOO good!

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You joke but I told a friend of mine they were doing a Sandman series and he thought it was that Sandman.


:laughing: See, Marvel Sandman is more well known. :slightly_smiling_face:

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I mean, one of them has a LEGO fig and the other doesn’t - of course Spidey’s Sandman is more well known

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Just glad that its meant to be Johanna C. and not a twist on Johnny.

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Give it a few years.

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Really? When I think Sandman, this is the only Sandman that I think of.

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