I’m not sure how, and I’m not sure when, but they’re making a Sandman movie.
Joseph Gordon Levitt is producing and possibly also directing and acting. I think he’d be great in the role, but there are a few other guys I’d be interested to see playing the character:
1. Benedict Cumberbatch. Maybe the obvious choice, but with his unique looks and hypnotic voice, he’d definitely be good at playing up the dark, nearly all-powerful side of Morpheus. Neil Gaiman himself even said that he would watch Cumberbatch in the role, which is good enough endorsement for me.
2. Michael Fassbender. Conversely, Fassbender would be good at making Morpheus seem more human. The Dream Lord does have his “human” side – falling in love, getting his heart broken, feeling confused and out of his depth – and in such a wild and imaginative world as the one in the Sandman books, it might not hurt to have a protagonist that the audience could easily relate to.
3. Andrew Garfield. A little young, maybe, but definitely skinny and British enough. He’s like a younger, less zany David Tennant.
4. Richard Armitage. It’s hard to find someone more brooding than Armitage, and Dream is nothing if not brooding.
Alternatively: cast more than one person. Morpheus is one of the Endless, godlike beings who aren’t so much beings as anthropomorphized concepts. Some of Dream’s siblings are Death, Desire, and Destiny. Depending on where he is and what he’s doing, Dream looks different. Sometimes he looks like an ordinary gothy human, but other times, he looks distorted and terrifying. Sometimes he’s not even human. With the iconic hair and black robes to anchor his appearance, four or five actors could easily rotate the part.
Bonus: my picks for Death!
1. Emily Blunt. Look, I just want Emily Blunt in everything. If she can’t be Death, she’d be great as Rose, the girl who goes looking for her missing brother and ends up at the center of a dream incident in the second volume, “The Doll’s House.”
2. Ruth Wilson. She’s my favorite Jane Eyre – complex, sparkling, and witty – and she’s also terrifyingly crazy in “Luther.” Depending on who was cast as Dream, she would make an amazing Death.
3. Billie Piper. In the books, Death is mostly a lighthearted, fun-loving character, but she also takes her job very seriously. She’s beautiful, kind, and welcoming – but she is what’s waiting at the end of every life, whether that life is ready for her or not. I think Piper could do her justice.
4. Felicia Day. She would add just the right amount of gentle, quirky friendliness to the role.
Any Sandman fans out there want to weigh in? Who would you like to see in the main roles?