Neil Gaiman explains why Netflix cast Gwendoline Christie as Lucifer for The Sandman

The Sandman is coming to Netflix
Sandman is coming to Netflix. Pic credit: DC Comics

The cast for the Netflix adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s Sandman series hit a couple of weeks ago, and at least one name turned some heads.

Gwendoline Christie was cast to play Lucifer, the fallen angel and the ruler of Hell.

Fans know Christie best from her roles as Brienne of Tarth on Game of Thrones and Captain Phasma in the Star Wars Sequel Trilogy.

While some fans rejected the idea of a female Lucifer, those who actually read Gaiman’s Sandman series will know that she fits the role perfectly.

Neil Gaiman talks Gwendoline Christie as Lucifer

Neil Gaiman has no time for fools.

Once people started to complain about the casting of Christie, Gaiman stepped up to shut them down. He wrote the books, created the characters in this world, and knows that Christie is perfect for the role.

“Doing the Netflix TV series, we’re very much looking at that as going, ‘Okay, it is 2020, let’s say that I was doing Sandman starting in 2020, what would we do? How would we change things? What gender would this character be? Who would this person be? What would be happening?'” Gaiman told

Gaiman has always played loosely with gender in his stories and has no problems creating the idea that angels such as Lucifer are asexual at best.

He also responded to a fan on Tumblr about the gender swap of Lucifer.

“It seemed easier and more fun to have the Sandman version of Lucifer be, well, much closer to the Sandman version of Lucifer,” Gaiman explained.

What about Tom Ellis’ Lucifer series on Netflix?

He also touched on the character of Lucifer as portrayed by Tom Ellis. For fans who don’t know, the TV show Lucifer is based on Mike Carey’s comics, which are spun off from Sandman. It is the same character, but after he left Hell and moved onto Earth.

Gaiman explained that he couldn’t have Ellis as Lucifer in the Sandman series because the character, by the time he settled on Earth, was very different from the version who ruled Hell in the Sandman comics.

“The theology and cosmogony of Lucifer is a long way from Sandman’s,” Gaiman said. “It’s ‘inspired by’ Sandman, but you can’t easily retrofit the Lucifer version to get back to Sandman — if you see what I mean.”

Neil Gaiman’s Sandman is starting production and will end up on Netflix as a series, likely sometime in the latter half of 2021 or early in 2022. There are three seasons greenlit for the series so far.

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