Neil Gaiman Criticized The Sandman’s Lead For Acting Like The Wrong DC Hero

Neil Gaiman was recently interviewed alongside the lead of The Sandman, and he chastised the man for trying to sound too much like another DC hero.

By James Brizuela | Published

the sandman neil gaiman

It’s not often that a creator for a book or comic leans heavily into criticizing the acting chops of someone who has been cast in the live-action version of their work. That is the cast for Neil Gaiman, who is the creator of The Sandman comics. Gaiman wrote the comic series and is one of the creators of the live-action show that will be making its way to Netflix soon. However, the writer had some choice words for the show’s lead, Tom Sturridge, who portrays Dream aka Morpheus. EW interviewed Gaiman and Sturridge together recently, and according to Gaiman, “I growled at him once and said, ‘stop being Batman,'” he added, “He was trying to get a bit whispery.”

Both Batman and The Sandman are DC properties, so naturally, mixing up DC protagonists can happen from time to time. Or rather, there have been far more live-action versions of The Dark Knight to go off of. Sturridge was likely just nervous. According to him, “It was literally my first day!” He added, “But it was incredibly helpful.” Sometimes we all want to emulate our heroes, and Sturridge was likely just trying to find his voice for Dream. This is the first live-action instance of the character, so he could sound a bit grumbly like Batman. However, clearly, the comic’s creator didn’t like this fact and called out the actor immediately. Neil Gaiman did write the series, so he knows how they all sound in his head. Especially considering that Dream has a very distinctive voice in the comics, as his dialogue looks vastly different from everyone else’s.

Photo Credit: Empire

Tom Sturridge has a tall task ahead of him, as The Sandman is considered to be one of the best comic series in history, and now he must lead the live-action format of this legendary DC property. While most people love the idea of bringing anime and comics into a live-action format, it doesnt always work out in the best way. However, Netflix is also not one for taking risks on ventures that don’t particularly work out. Let’s ignore that Death Note live-action flop for now. Neil Gaiman is also involved, so that helps quite a bit as well.

The Batman “voice” was made legendary by Christian Bale, who had an odd way of making the hero sound a bit lispy and quiet, while also rising to a guttural thunderous way of speaking at times. No one knows quite why this happened, other than the fact that he was attempting to distinguish who Bruce Wayne was compared to Batman. Also, the recent version of the Robert Pattison Batman also had a quiet way of speaking. Either way, Neil Gaiman does not want that character being confused with Dream.

The Sandman is currently in the post-production stages, but there isn’t an official release date yet. Tom Sturridge and Neil Gaiman speaking about the process of the series is some good news, and it could mean that we are likely to see this live-action series sometime soon. Considering the show is in post-production, we might see the series debut sometime in the fall. Perfect time for a brooding show like The Sandman to come out.