- Neil Gaiman spoke about his Netflix series, “The Sandman,” on the “Happy Sad Confused” podcast.
- Gaiman said Michael Jackson called Warner Bros. in 1996 and pitched himself to star as Morpheus.
- “The Sandman,” starring Tom Sturridge, premiered August 5 on Netflix.
Neil Gaiman said Michael Jackson wanted to play Morpheus, the lead character in an adaption of his famed comic series, “The Sandman.”
Gaiman made the revelation during a new episode of Josh Horowitz’s “Happy Sad Confused” podcast, which aired on Friday.
The 10-episode series aired August 5 on Netflix, but there have been previous attempts to turn the award-winning comic book into a film or TV show, according to Gaiman. Morpheus is played by Tom Sturridge in the Netflix version.
“By 1996, I was being taken to Warners, where the then-president of Warner Bros. sat me down and told me that Michael Jackson had phoned him the day before and asked him if he could star as Morpheus in ‘The Sandman,'” Gaiman told Horowitz.
He added: “So, there was a lot of interest in this and they knew that it was one of the Crown Jewels and what did I think? And I was like, ‘Ooh.'”
Although Jackson never played Morpheus, he did tackle other acting projects like “Men in Black II” in 2002.
CBR.com reported that efforts to adapt “The Sandman” began in 1991 but remained unsuccessful for years. According to the outlet, an adaptation picked up steam in 2013, with Joseph Gordon-Levitt” set to play Morpheus, but he later left the project over creative differences.
In an interview with Rolling Stone, Gaiman revealed that he once sabotaged a movie adaptation of “The Sandman” by leaking the script to the press.
“I sent the script to Ain’t It Cool News, which back then was read by people,” Gaiman told the outlet. “And I thought, I wonder what Ain’t It Cool News will think of the script that they’re going to receive anonymously. And they wrote a fabulous article about how it was the worst script they’d ever been sent. And suddenly the prospect of that film happening went away.”