Jenna Coleman, Stephen Fry, and Joely Richardson have joined the cast of Neil Gaiman’s new series The Sandman.
David Thewlis and Patton Oswalt have also signed on for the Netflix project based on Gaiman’s DC comic book series, with Tom Sturridge, Gwendoline Christie, Sanjeev Bhaskar, Charles Dance, and Boyd Holbrook also set to star.
Former Doctor Who star Coleman will play Johanna Constantine, an 18th-century adventuress and the great-great-great-grandmother of the iconic comic book character John Constantine, who was famously played by Keanu Reeves in a 2005 film.
In a blogpost on Netflix’s website, Gaiman described why he chose her to play the role.
“I created her (Johanna) to fill the role that John Constantine does in the past,” he explained. “When we broke down the first season, given that we knew that we would be encountering Johanna in the past, we wondered what would happen if we met a version of her in the present as well.
“We tried it and the script was sparkier, feistier, and in some ways even more fun. So having written her, we just had to cast her. Jenna Coleman gave us the Johanna of our dreams – tough, brilliant, tricky, haunted and probably doomed.”
Richardson will take on the role of Ethel Cripps, while Thewlis will play her son, John Dee.
Gaiman is also thrilled to land Fry as the protective and wise Gilbert, adding, “Stephen Fry is a National Treasure, and we forget sometimes that he’s also a remarkable actor. Seeing him in costume and make up on the dailies made me blink: it was as if the comic had come to life.”
The first season of The Sandman will air on Netflix later this year.