11:15pm PT by Abid Rahman
Neil Gaiman Wants Tom Hiddleston for 'Sandman' Role
Neil Gaiman's Sandman series of graphic novels is one of the last great culturally influential comic series yet to hit the big screen, but not through a lack of trying. Still in development, a Sandman movie seems to be edging closer with Gaiman, David S. Goyer and Joseph Gordon-Levitt all working on the adaptation, and Gaiman, at least, has picked out who he wants to play the central character Morpheus.
"There was a time Johnny Depp would've been a great Morpheus, but now he's too old and it's fine. 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."
After taking the role of Doctor Strange, Cumberbatch would appear to be out of the running, but Gaiman has another Englishman in mind.
"Then again, Tom Hiddleston is still out there! And the truth is, as far as I'm concerned, anybody who sounds English with great cheekbones can probably pull it off."
Elsewhere in the interview, Gaiman also gave an insight into why the Sandman project has been in development hell all these years, a major part of the problem being what he described as poor scripts. For the coming adaptation Gaiman is much more involved in the script development process. "I really am [glad to have more input]," he told the Radio Times.
"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. 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."
Sandman is a passion project for Gordon-Levitt with the actor set to star and direct, but Gaiman's preference for Hiddleston for Morpheus suggests he may take another role.
On the current script, Gaiman was also fairly frank about the process with Gordon-Levitt and Goyer: "They've written a script. I got a phone call about two, three weeks ago from Joe and David saying, 'Jack did a script, we read it, we want some things done to it. We want you to see it, but not this version. The next version will be in three weeks and then you'll be the first person to see it.'," he said.
"So I am now a week before seeing the script. It's going to come in just before Christmas. I'm nervous, I'm on tenterhooks. But do I have good feelings? Yeah, I do."