Neil Gaiman has confirmed that Jenna Coleman will play both the past and present versions of Constantine in Netflix’s upcoming adaptation of his comic book series, The Sandman. While many had speculated that the actress and Doctor Who star would only play the distant ancestor of the beloved paranormal investigator, with an actor stepping in to play John Constantine, Gaiman has explained why this is not the case, revealing that Coleman will play both the eighteenth-century and the present-day versions.
“The rights situation with John is certainly circumscribed right now. But the plan to have Lady Johanna and Joanna be in the story and played by the same person was there from the start. It seemed tidier. So it worked out.”
So, it seems that John Constantine will be replaced by Johanna, with this (no doubt controversial) decision being made in part due to the rights issue surrounding the character. A character played in live action by the likes of Keanu Reeves on the big screen and Matt Ryan on the small screen, Gaiman clearly had his mind set on having the same person play both versions of Constantine in The Sandman, and, though some fans are sure to be unhappy with this decision, it should provide a different insight into the character within the vast world of The Sandman.
Based on the critically acclaimed comic book series by author Neil Gaiman, The Sandman is a dark fantasy series which Netflix describes as, “A rich blend of modern myth and dark fantasy in which contemporary fiction, historical drama and legend are seamlessly interwoven, The Sandman follows the people and places affected by Morpheus, the Dream King, as he mends the cosmic – and human – mistakes he’s made during his vast existence.”
“For the last thirty-three years, the Sandman characters have breathed and walked around and talked in my head,” Neil Gaiman said of the series finally being adapted into live action. “I’m unbelievably happy that now, finally, they get to step out of my head and into reality. I can’t wait until the people out there get to see what we’ve been seeing as Dream and the rest of them take flesh, and the flesh belongs to some of the finest actors out there. This is astonishing, and I’m so grateful to the actors and to all of The Sandman collaborators – Netflix, Warner Bros., DC, to Allan Heinberg and David Goyer, and the legions of crafters and geniuses on the show – for making the wildest of all my dreams into reality.”
The Sandman has amassed a stellar cast led by Far from the Madding Crowd star Tom Sturridge as Dream, the Lord of the Dreaming. Making up the supporting cast are Gwendoline Christie (Game of Thrones), Vivienne Acheampong (The Witches), Charles Dance (Gosford Park, Game of Thrones), Boyd Holbrook (Logan), David Thewlis (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban), Patton Oswalt (M.O.D.O.K), Asim Chaudhry (People Just Do Nothing), and Sanjeev Bhaskar (Yesterday).
Neil Gaiman is on board as an executive producer and co-writer on the adaptation, with the Netflix series being produced by Warner Bros. Television. The first season of The Sandman does not yet have a release date, but is expected to hit Netflix towards the end of 2021.