It’s a Good Thing Neil Gaiman Was Kidding About Tom Hiddleston Playing Morpheus in Sandman

In a recent interview with Radio Times, Neil Gaiman threw out potential candidates to play Morpheus in the upcoming adaptation of his Sandman graphic novel series. Some suggestions were legitimate, as he talked about one-time candidates now too old for the role; but once he started joking about Englishmen and their cheekbones, we should have known not to take him seriously.

Gaiman explained that more than one candidate has crossed his mind, but it’s all been dependent on timing:

It’s a funny thing with Morpheus. Again, it’s that thing where you look around and think, “Yes, this person would be a fantastic person,” and then time passes. There was a time Johnny Depp would’ve been a great Morpheus, but now he’s too old and it’s fine. I think the first time I saw Benedict was as Sherlock Holmes, I thought, “Wow, that’s incredibly Morpheus.” And fans probably thought the same because they immediately started doing fan-art, meshing the two of them up.

Now that Benedict Cumberbatch is committed to playing Marvel’s Doctor Strange, he’s most likely out. Then Gaiman added a backup:

Then again, Tom Hiddleston is still out there! And the truth is, as far as I’m concerned, anybody who sounds English with great cheekbones can probably pull it off.

Alas, that one was a joke, as Gaiman clarified this morning in a tweet:

In many ways, Hiddleston would have been the perfect choice—perhaps too perfect because it’s so expected. Just look how so many outlets took Gaiman’s offhand comment and ran with it as legitimate news, because people love Hiddles so much they’d nominate him for any role without stopping to ponder how good he would actually be at it.

This is the kind of role where Warner Bros could be more daring with their casting picks. That includes choosing more than one Morpheus, like we did when casting the Endless. It worked to great effect in I’m Not There and The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus, so why not here?

Gaiman also shared how glad he is not only to be more involved in the screenwriting process, but that it’s an actually good movie. “A couple of times, to be honest, I have thrown my body in front of a bus on a couple of bad [versions],” he said. However, “with Joseph Gordon-Levitt in charge, his instincts are good and he loves the material. He wants it to be true to the material.”

Last we heard from JGL, he was working on the script with David S. Goyer. According to Gaiman, he gets to see a version just in time for Christmas: “I’m nervous, I’m on tenterhooks. But do I have good feelings? Yeah I do.”

[via The Mary Sue]

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