The Sandman creator Neil Gaiman explains why Lucifer’s inspiration David Bowie wouldn’t have been a good fit for the role were he still alive today.
The Sandman co-creator Neil Gaiman recently confirmed that he wouldn’t have cast David Bowie as Lucifer in the Netflix adaptation of his seminal DC Comics series.
Gaiman explained why the late musician wouldn’t have been a good fit for Lucifer, despite inspiring the character’s look in the comics, in an interview with Inverse. “I wouldn’t have cast David Bowie as he was before he died, because the whole idea was that Lucifer is meant to look like a beautiful angel,” he said. “I absolutely would have cast David Bowie if we had a time machine and a cloning device and we could have had David at any time between his 20th birthday and let’s say his 50th birthday, and I would have done the casting then.”
“But, I suspect that David might well have been keen [on] seeing Gwendoline [Christie] play the part,” Gaiman continued. “Because he was somebody who was asked who he’d like to portray him in a biopic and his answer was Tilda Swinton. So he probably would have loved to have seen Gwendoline [in the role].” The decision to cast Christie as a gender-swapped version of Lucifer generated considerable controversy when it was first announced, however, Gaiman remained steadfast in his support of her and the rest of the fantasy series’ cast. Christie has since revealed that she wrote to Gaiman to express her gratitude after learning of how committed he was to defending her and co-stars.
Neil Gaiman Teases the Morpheus/Lucifer Rematch
Lucifer’s gender wasn’t the only thing the Sandman adaptation altered about the character. The ruler of Hell also plays a more hands-on role in the show compared to the comics, confronting Dream (Tom Sturridge) directly in Season 1, Episode 4, “A Hope in Hell.” Gaiman previously laid out the rationale behind this change, insisting that it made no sense to hire an actor of Christie’s caliber and not make full use of her talents and physical presence. “She’s 6’3″, 6’6″ in heels, and 7’5″ with wings,” he said. “And you want her on the stage as much as possible. You go, ‘Well, we have this fabulous confrontation here.'”
Gaiman also continues to tease the rematch between Dream and Lucifer planned for The Sandman‘s upcoming second season. The scribe has confirmed that the pair will square up again at the start of Season 2 and warned those unfamiliar with the comics that the outcome will catch them off guard.
The Sandman Season 1 is currently streaming on Netflix. Season 2 does not yet have a release date.