The real reason why Tom Ellis is not playing Lucifer on Netflix’s ‘Sandman’
(Credit: John P. Fleenor / Netflix)

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The real reason why Tom Ellis is not playing Lucifer on Netflix's 'Sandman'

Neil Gaiman is revered for creating the popular DC comic series The Sandman which went on to become a best seller. With artists Sam Kieth and Mike Dringenberg, Gaiman published over 75 issues since 1989. Currently, the author is closely involved in the Netflix production of his seminal work, titled The Sandman.  

Developed by Gaiman, Allan Heinberg and David S. Goyer, the upcoming Netflix series has generated quite the buzz and will release sometime in 2022. 

Brimming with elements of madness, sins and vulnerability, the show will revolve around the titular Sandman, also known as Dream or Morpheus, one of the seven Endless siblings who is held captive by a sinister occult ritual for 70 years. During his captivity, he goes into a state of introspection and vows to seek vengeance from those who wronged him. 

With 11 exciting episodes, the series has a massive ensemble cast, namely Tom Sturridge as Dream, Boyd Holbrook, Charles Dance, Roderick Burgess, Sanjeev Bhaskar, Asim Chaudhuryl, Vivienne Acheampong, David Thewlis, Emma Duncan, Steve Brand etc. Read the full cast list here

However, fans were pleasantly surprised when the series announced actress Gwendoline Christie as the one reprising the role of Lucifer on the show. Known for her role as Brienne of Tarth in Game of Thrones, Christie was a highly unlikely yet welcome choice in this gender-bending form of Lucifer Morningstar. 

Lucifer Morningstar from The Sandman has been a pretty revered figure and even inspired the lead protagonist in the titular Fox series Lucifer which was cancelled after a few seasons. Following a massive fan campaign, Netflix revived the show and added three more seasons, bringing it to an end in late 2021. 

It revolves around the titular Lucifer who resides on Earth, owns a lush nightclub and gets involved with a detective to solve cases while dealing with his burgeoning emotions and other threats and challenges from the metaphysical realm. 

Also starring Kevin Alejandro, Lauren German and Aimee Garcia among others, Lucifer starred the charming and suave Tom Ellis as the titular Lucifer. Given how well Ellis embodied the character, fans were pleasantly surprised when he was not a part of The Sandman

However, Gaiman has cleared the air regarding the same. On Twitter, he addressed the situation, talking about how Ellis’ Lucifer in the series was way different from the one in Sandman

While he called Tom “lovable” in the series, he wanted to add an element of surprise by introducing a new Lucifer with a twist. He also said, “Because his [Tom Ellis] Lucifer, while inspired by the Lucifer in Sandman, is so far away in terms of Sandman continuity b the end of Lucifer, that it’s easier on everyone to go back to the version in the comics.”

With a short-cropped bob, an angelic, androgynous avatar, white robs and ominous black wings, Christie’s Lucifer makes an appearance towards the end of the Netflix Geeked Week trailer (1:40 onwards).

She meets Sturridge’s Dream and greets him the same way Lucifer does in Gaiman’s comic, promising a faithful adaptation. She says, “Hello Dream, are you well?”

Stay tuned for more updates regarding The Sandman.