Neil Gaiman says Benedict Cumberbatch was perfect for Sandman, but so is Tom Hiddleston

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A big-screen adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s celebrated Sandman comic book series has been in the works for a long time now with various stops and starts along the way, but the latest attempt to bring it to the screen shows promise — and is moving along quite well, says the author. It’s moving along so well, in fact, that Gaiman recently shared some of his thoughts on casting Morpheus, the entity who rules the domain of dreams and the protagonist of the series.

“It’s a funny thing with Morpheus,” said Gaiman in an interview with RadioTimes. “It’s that thing where you look around and think, ‘Yes this person would be a fantastic person’, and then time passes.”

“There was a time Johnny Depp would’ve been a great Morpheus, but now he’s too old and it’s fine,” he continued. “I think the first time I saw Benedict [Cumberbatch] was as Sherlock Holmes, I thought, ‘Wow, that’s incredibly Morpheus.’ And fans probably thought the same because they immediately started doing fan-art, meshing the two of them up.”

However, Gaiman acknowledges that Cumberbatch probably isn’t in any hurry to jump into another superhero role now that he’s locked-in as the star of Marvel’s upcoming Doctor Strange solo film. Fortunately, he has another actor in mind who would be a good fit for the character.

“Tom Hiddleston is still out there,” said Gaiman of the Avengers actor. “And the truth is, as far as I’m concerned, anybody who sounds English with great cheekbones can probably pull it off.”

As far as the status of the Sandman movie, the author seemed optimistic about the current team of producers David Goyer (Man Of Steel), Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Looper), and this time around, Gaiman himself. He expects to read the latest draft of the script penned by Jack Thorne (The Fades) in the next week.

“I really am [glad to have more input],” he said. “My position on it has always been, for over 25 years now, I would rather see no Sandman movie than a bad Sandman movie. A couple of times, people say, ‘It’s a crime there’s never been a Sandman movie’, and a couple of times, to be honest, I have thrown my body in front of a bus on a couple of bad ones over the years.”

“I’m just happy that no bad Sandman movie has ever been made,” he added. “But I’m really hoping that a good one will be. They’re a good team. And with Joseph Gordon-Levitt in charge, his instincts are good and he loves the material. He wants it to be true to the material.”