It has taken Neil Gaiman a long time to bring The Sandman to screens and for that reason, he will defend it with all his heart against online trolls. The Sandman comes to Netflix next week and while the trailers have excited the vast majority of the comic book franchise’s fan base, there has been a small number that have made a lot of noise on social media about certain casting choices.
While Gaiman knows that it is usually better to not engage with trolls online, there have been a number of instances when he hasn’t been able to hold back. Among the greatest “issues” raised by the supposed fans of the long-running fantasy comic books have included the casting of Gwendoline Christie as Lucifer and Kirby Howell-Baptiste as Death. As Gaiman explained to Yahoo Entertainment, he had simply had enough watching a small minority undermining the hard work that has gone into the Netflix show. He said:
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“I know the rule is you’re meant to ignore the trolls and not feed the trolls. But I would look at people sounding off on Sandman who were obviously not Sandman fans. What I would watch would be 60,000 Sandman fans going, ‘Of course you’re doing it this way. Of course you have a non-binary Desire, Desire was always non-binary, that’s brilliant casting.’ Or ‘Gwendoline as Lucifer, what amazing casting.’ And then you’d get five or six people trying to make a lot of fuss who never read Sandman in the first place. And I mostly decided I was done with it. Occasionally I do feel like I’m taking an enormous sledgehammer to squash the tiniest ants, and you really shouldn’t,” he said. “But then again, they can be really irritating sometimes, and I’m proud of what we made.”
Neil Gaiman Says When People See The Sandman, No One Will Be Grumbling
Having spent much of the last few months watching Twitter and other social media platforms fill with comments about how Lucifer is not a woman, Death is not Black, and so on, Neil Gaiman has made no secret that he doesn’t have any time for what he says are just grumbles. When previously discussing the casting of Death, Gaiman commented:
“The thing that got me grumpiest was when people on Twitter would go, ‘This is not the gamine-esque, white, goth-y Death that I’ve had in my head for all these years, why are you betraying us?’ But watch 1,000 Death auditions. Hundreds of the actors we saw were gamine-esque, some white-skinned. It’s the Endless — we did colour-blind casting, because why wouldn’t you? The comics establish that the characters look like whatever we want them to look like. Anyway, Kirby’s amazing. And I think that people who have been grumbling that she doesn’t look like Death are going to not be grumbling [any more] once they see her be Death.”
Everyone will finally have a chance to see all of Gaiman’s fantastical characters when The Sandman debuts on Netflix on August 5.