Neil Gaiman reveals that Michael Jackson wanted to star in the adaptation

Netflix recently released the first season of its live adaptation of DC Comics and Vertigo’s The Sandman. It’s the first direct adaptation to skip development, with several versions shelved or scrapped including the one that would have started Joseph Gordon-Levitt. It turns out that a big star wanted to play Morpheus again in 1996. During a new interview with him Entertainment WeeklyAnd the hypnotic Creator Neil Gaiman revealed that legendary pop singer Michael Jackson called Warner Bros. He told them he wanted to play the character.

“By 1996, I was transferred to Warner, where the then-President of Warner Bros. sat me down and told me that Michael Jackson had called him the day before and asked if he could play Morpheus in hypnotic, “Gaiman for EW.” So, there was a lot of interest in this and they knew it was one of the crown jewels and what did you think? And I was like, oh.”

Previously, while speaking with Entertainment Weekly, Gaiman revealed why he refused to come on board for Sandman’s previous projects.

“I declined to be involved,” Gaiman said of previous edits, most recently Joseph Gordon-Levitt being associated with both the direct and the star. “I refused to write it; I refused to be the executive producer. I don’t because I knew that if I did, I would lose the only power I had, the ability to speak out against a bad Sandman movie. Fortunately, Sandman was too costly for anyone to justify making it.” If you were trying to make a Sandman movie, the first question is, What would you ask? Because Sandman, by the time it was finished, was 3,000 pages of comics. So what’s your movie?”

Gaiman went on to recall some bad tweaks that almost happened, including a version of Pulp Fiction co-writer Roger Avary that ended as soon as he pitched it to Warner Bros. bosses. He also spoke of a version of Producer John Peters (from Kevin Smith’s Superman movie with giant spider fame), adding, “There was a version of the script, and I’ll never forget the first line: ‘Aha, mortal idiot! As if your petty weapons could harm me, the great lord of dreams, the hypnotist! And it got worse from there.”

Tom Sturridge leads the all-star cast of the series, who plays the titular character and Lord of Dreams. He plays alongside Gwendolyn Christie as Lucifer, Charles Dance as Roderick Burgess, Asim Choudary as Abel, Sanjeev Bhaskar as Kane, Jenna Coleman as Joanna Constantin, Julie Richardson as Ethel Krebs, David Thewlis as John Dee, Boyd Holbrook in The Corinthian role, Stephen Fry as Gilbert, Patton Oswalt as the voice of Dreamcatcher Matthew, and as Dream siblings, Mason Alexander Park as Desire and Kirby Howell Baptist as Death. The first season of the series is now streaming on Netflix.

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