‘The Sandman’s Tom Sturridge and Neil Gaiman on Bringing Morpheus to Life

sandman dream

Netflix has been busy promoting its upcoming fourth season of Stranger Things, but that’s not all that is heading our way. This summer will see the release of the highly-anticipated The Sandman live-action series. After getting a very popular audio adaptation, there’s been a lot of hope for seeing the series finally get adapted.

Creator Neil Gaiman certainly has been hoping so, as he reveals in an interview with Entertainment Weekly that he’s gone through “1,500 Morpheus auditions” since the project was hoping to adapt the story of the Lord of the Dreaming. Joseph Gordon-Levitt started a project that didn’t get picked up, but luckily their casting led them to Tom Sturridge taking on the role.

Tom Sturridge also got to talk about the lengthy casting process, but is quite okay with it, as he understands the importance of the role.

It was entirely necessary, because this is a character who is so utterly beloved — by me more than anyone. That requires you to spend time with a human being to discover if they can live up to the dream you have of who he is. I think The Sandman pervades culture. Even the name Morpheus, King of Dreams, kind of haunted me in my youth.

Tom Sturridge

The actor also jokingly talked bout taking on the role, especially as his first appearance is naked, as the story takes place during World War I, just as some humans try to capture Death but end up with her brother Dream. While joking about ending up naked in front of the people he has nine months to work with, he highlights the challenge of bringing this character to life.

I cared very much about the physicality and image of Morpheus. We’ve all seen those pictures, we know about his skeletal, muscular, otherworldly physique. Something that’s very exciting about the physical aspect of things is you can solve that problem. I can make my body look like that — it requires A, B, C, and D — in a way that I can’t easily get into the soul of an Endless. There was something quite satisfying about beginning with a task that was achievable, and I worked hard to create this physicality that I felt that was unusual.

Tom Sturridge

Gaiman goes on to highlight how they approached the dialogue, and how much work went into the project under showrunner Allan Heinberg‘s supervision.

Morpheus’ dialogue is incredibly specific. It was probably the thing I was most obsessive about. Someone would have written a fabulous script, [showrunner] Allan Heinberg would have rewritten a fabulous script, and I would have seen it at every iteration, but there would always be a point at the end where I would still be noodling on the Morpheus dialogue: Making sure the words were right, that the rhythms were right

Neil Gaiman

Sturridge added to the view of how Dream talks, as everything he says has been “etched in stone” due to the way he’s seen everything there ever was, is and will be.

I remember you said to me that everything he says has to feel like it was etched in stone. He’s never improvising. He has experienced and perceived every thought, dream, and moment, and therefore he knows what you’re going to say. That was very helpful.

Tom Sturridge

It definitely sounds like a lot of work went into bringing this series to life, and The Sandman is definitely an ambitious adaptation. Neil Gaiman‘s heavy involvement definitely adds that special something, and the fact they went out of their way to ensure they can cast the right actor as Dream highlights how much work went into it. Here’s hoping we get a new look soon.

Source: Entertainment Weekly

Previous Post
naomi season 2

‘Naomi’ Not Returning for a Second Season on the CW

Next Post
gotham knights cw

‘Gotham Knight’s Ordered to Series by The CW

Related Posts