A few months ago, we were surprised by Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s announcement that he’d be producing a Sandman film with the blessing from creator Neil Gaiman. Then, we were teased by writer Jack Thorne’s attachment to the project. Now, as fans twiddle their thumbs waiting for more updates, I’d like to offer an argument for the casting of our beloved brooding Dream Lord.
Some e-whispers suggest that Don Jon himself should don Morpheus’ oneiric cowl. Why not? He’s pale with dark dressings and has dabbled in the DC universe before. Others like our own ethereal editor, Leia, champions more maturity in the master of disguise, Doug Jones. On the other hand, Gaiman put forward the razor-sharp cheekbones of Tom Hiddleston or Benedict Cumberbatch for his two cents.
What is my informed and corrected opinion on who should be cast, you ask, nay, you beg? All of the actors, or at least as many as could be seamlessly cut into a scene.
Hear me out. One reason among many that makes Sandman one of the most preeminent comic series of all time is it’s art, which not only was helmed by a multitude of different artists, but depicted a comic book hero who is iconically inconsistent from panel to panel. Unlike the red and blue of Superman, or Batman’s dark gauntlets, Morpheus’ face and clothing rarely had the exact same features from page to page, let alone spanning volumes. Even more interesting, Dream’s appearance would often depend on who he was interacting with. J’onn Jonzz sees Morpheus as a Martian, while to the Egyptian cat goddess, he is a great black cat with stars for eyes. How then could one actor really capture Dream better than a comic book artist? Why make a film at all if you’re going to lose something so essential from the character? (The different facets of Dream is probably best depicted and explained in the current mini-series, Sandman Overture, which marks Gaiman’s return to the character).
So imagine a movie where different actors play Dream in different moods, or in different scenes reacting to different characters. Picture the Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, but much, much, better. Not only would this be visually amazing, but would honor the inconceivable vastness of a character that personifies an eternal and formative aspect of the universe. Throw Cat-Dream in there, and I think you’ve got the basis for a perfect Sandman adaptation.
What do you all think?