Netflix’s upcoming series based on Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman graphic novels is one of the most ambitious and eagerly awaited fantasy adaptations to have been announced for a long while, and at DC FanDome today, we were given a first look at Game of Thrones star Gwendoline Christie in the role of the Devil. Of course, in the world of DC, the Devil is better known as Lucifer Morningstar, the character that has been played for many years in the hit series Lucifer by Tom Ellis. However, this is a completely different iteration of the character, which was made clear by Joe Henderson, co-showrunner of Lucifer, when he spoke to Collider earlier this year.
“Like, one thing, she’s an amazing actress. For another, she’ll bring a completely different tone to the character. And the character in Sandman is such a different character, I think casting someone who has just such a different energy… I think it’s just awesome. I’m dying to see the first picture of her in character. I could not be more happy.”
Well he will no doubt be happy now, with the first poster from DC FanDome featuring the character arriving today and giving a clear look at this new version of Lucifer, complete with white hair and, as seen in a second poster, wings as black as sin. Like many of the castings in the first screen adaptation of Gaiman’s epic work, Christie’s take on Lucifer is one that fans will have their say on for better or worse, and there were a few eager to get their feelings out on Twitter when the first images dropped.
“Holy hell she looks so ethereal and dare I say it… very very young in that shot!” said one user, while another added, “I prefer that Lucifer to the other dude in that series…”. When it comes to “the other dude”, there was at least one person who were maybe not quite ready to let go of the other version of Lucifer out there, posting a picture of Tom Ellis and commenting “I prefer this guy.” Well you can’t please everyone. Of course, the series of Lucifer was a loose adaptation of the character featured in Sandman, who renounced the rule of Hell to open a nightclub in Los Angeles, but with this adaptation of Sandman, it is clear that there is a return to the character’s original look, which was inspired by music icon David Bowie.
Back in January, Gaiman explained in a Tumblr post why Christie was taking over the role of Lucifer for the new cast and it wasn’t being handed to Tom Ellis. In response to a fan questioning the choice for change, Gaiman wrote, “The theology and cosmogony of Lucifer is a long way from Sandman’s. It’s ‘inspired by’ Sandman, but you can’t easily retrofit the Lucifer version to get back to Sandman, if you see what I mean. It seemed easier and more fun to have the Sandman version of Lucifer be, well, much closer to the Sandman version of Lucifer.”
Gaiman also explained why this iteration of Lucifer was being genderswapped for the new series, and it all came down to updating the decades old stories for modern audiences. In an interview with ComicBook.com, the author said, “For Netflix right now, people have tried making some movies and TV adaptations for 30 years, and actively tried making them for 25 years, and they’ve never worked,” Gaiman continued, referring to Sandman’s long journey to live-action.
“And they never worked because of all the special effects and what would be needed to do the special effects. They never worked because you were making something that was adult. People would write Sandman movie scripts, and they go, ‘But it’s an R-rated movie, and we can’t have $100 million R-rated movies.’ So, that wouldn’t happen. You needed to get to a world in which long-form storytelling is an advantage rather than a disadvantage. And the fact that we have seventy-five issues of Sandman plus — essentially, 13 full books — worth of material, is a really good thing. It’s not a drawback. It’s on our side. And the fact that we’re in a world in which we can take things that only existed in comic book art, and that can now exist in reality.”
The Sandman will premiere on Netflix sometime in 2022. A teaser trailer was previously released at Netflix’s TUDUM event.