Dream Casting, Sandman Casting Call Part 15: Animal and Vegetable Edition.

October 5th, 2010 by

Sandman ran for 75 issues, and in them featured hundreds of memorable characters.  All with names and interesting back stories.  I could keep going for months trying to cast them all, but I think I have covered nearly all the major players.  Today I will get through the last, that I expect to do. Unless I realize I have left out anyone important, or come up with a particularly inspired choice for one of the minor characters.

These last characters all have in common that they will need to be portrayed by either, puppets, CGI, or an actor in major prosthetics, or a combination of all of the above.  I will pick a voice actor for each.

Morpheus had a series of pet ravens.  They are usually the spirit of a dead man that has been reincarnated as a raven.  He retains his human personality and ability to speak, but in every other way, such as taste and behavior, he is a raven.  The one that he has for most of the series, except flashbacks to earlier eras, is named Matthew.  He is the spirit of Matt Cable, a supporting character from DC’s earlier horror/fantasy epic Swamp Thing.

Matthew is loyal, rough around the edges, and a little sardonic.  Before he died Matt Cable made some mistakes, and hurt people he cared about.  It was interesting to see Matthew the Raven striving to atone for those mistakes, and become a little more sensitive.  He often served as the audience’s surrogate.  One that could openly ask questions like, what is going on? And, why did you do that?  As well as being a sympathetic ear for Dream.

Though if memory serves Matt Cable was an American character, I always heard Matthew speaking with an English accent. Which is probably why I went with a British actor for the his voice.  Clive Owen

Owen has a deep, rich, but slightly gritty voice.  Just what I hear when I read Matthew’s dialogue.  He often plays characters with some darkness in their past, while still be able to deliver a biting one liner.

Next we have Barnabas.  Barnabas is Destruction’s pet/companion.  He appears to be a large grey dog.  He too can speak, and has a human like personality.  Though he does show that he likes dog things like chewing on stuff, and getting scratched behind the ears.  It is unclear if he is simply a talking dog, or a reincarnated spirit like Matthew.  He is very down to earth, and sarcastic.  If he wasn’t a dog, he would constantly be rolling his eyes. I’m going with Michael Palin for his voice.

Palin is of course a member of Monty Python.  He would be able to play the sarcasm, and the intelligence, along side the warm, nurturing side of the character.  And of course he would nail the utter goofiness of him going dog-giddy over a stick.

Last but hardly least, is Mervin Pumpkinhead.  One of the few characters that is there purely for comic relief.  His body is made of twigs, and his head is a jack o’lantern.  He usually wears overalls or coveralls, and has a cigarette hanging out of his mouth.  He is the janitor/handyman of the Dreaming.  He is a smart aleck, with a wise crack for everything.  He has a somewhat inflated ego, and likes to hear himself talk.  I am choosing another Python, for him.  Eric Idle

Idle knows how to play a smart-ass.  Since Merv’s face so simplistic his personality is really going to have to come through his voice.  Idle has plenty of voice over experience, and is really versatile.

I also think the character should have a real person in a suit, perform his movement.  As again, he is such a minimal design, he could come across as very artificial if he was purely CGI or animatronic.  For that I suggest Doug Jones.

Jones has made a career of bringing to life extraordinary, fantasy characters. He played one of the Gentleman, a terrifyingly creepy monster, on a particularly memorable episode of Buffy.  More significantly he has worked with Guillermo del Torro, playing Abe Sapien in both Hellboy films, and the Faun and the Pale Man in Pan’s Labyrinth.  He is impossibly tall and thin, and is incredibly expressive with his body.

Okay, that it is it for this series of posts.  I can’t believe I made it to fifteen posts.  It has been fun.  I may try another fantasy casting project for another comic series, but I haven’t thought of one yet (maybe Fables).  As I said in the very first post, I really don’t want to see Sandman made into a film. I think it exists in its ideal form already.  I do think it probably will get adapted someday, and if even one of my casting choices made it to the screen, I would be super excited.

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2 Responses to “Dream Casting, Sandman Casting Call Part 15: Animal and Vegetable Edition.”

  1. Matthew J. Smith Says:

    I had just bumbled onto this from a couple other Sandman searches. You have some very good cast choices. Some that are eerily spot on such as your first choice for Dream. Despair and Delirium are tough nuts to crack casting wise.

  2. Susie Says:

    Thanks, I had lots of fun assembling this cast. It will be really interesting to see who ends up on screen in the inevitable adaptation.

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