Featuring the likes of David Thewlis, Charles Dance, Gwendoline Christie, and more, Netflix’s adaptation of The Sandman is undeniably star-studded. But there’s one very famous cast member who isn’t exactly viewed on screen throughout its ten episodes: Mark Hamill.
In the show, the Star Wars legend lends his voice to Mervyn Pumpkinhead, the chain-smoking, outspoken, prankster janitor who takes care of The Dreaming for Tom Sturridge’s titular Morpheus. With the series now on Netflix, Neil Gaiman and showrunner Allan Heinberg explain to Total Film how the Luke Skywalker actor got involved in the adaptation.
“We have [Mark Hamill] in the same way that we have a lot of people, which is that there are Sandman fans out there,” says Gaiman. “You know, Patton Oswalt [who voices Matthew the Raven]I first met him in 1992 when he stood in line for three hours to get his copy of Sandman: Season of Mists signed, so we had to punch above our weight. Mark Hamill loved comics. I remember talking to [Allan] about what Merv’s voice should sound like, I don’t remember which of us suggested Mark Hamill, but I never Really I thought we’d catch him.”
“I mean, it’s brilliant,” Heinberg chimes in. “In addition to his film work, he’s a brilliant voice actor and my all-time favorite Joker from Batman: The Animated Series. So he’s always at the top of our lists.” for that kind of thing.”
“We were very lucky with Sandman because we kept getting the people who were at the top of our lists,” recalls Gaiman. “You know, Stephen Fry agreed to be Gilbert, because Stephen Fry loves the Sandman, and he wanted to do that and he wanted to be that. So it gives us a little bit of magical power that we otherwise wouldn’t have in the casting.”
Also starring Boyd Holbrook, Kirby Howell-Baptiste, Joely Richardson and Jenna Coleman, The Sandman takes stories directly from Gaiman’s graphic novels. Follow Dream (Sturridge), a powerful cosmic being who is forced to cross different worlds to retrieve his tools and stop the rogue Nightmares after being imprisoned for over a century by a ruthless magic user. It turns out that the latter had been trying to capture Death in hopes of resurrecting his dead child from him, but the spell backfired. Morpheus blended into it, and his absence has caused chaos on Earth, Hell, and everything in between.
It’s available to stream now. If dark fantasy isn’t your thing and you’re overwhelmed by the amount of content on the streamer, check out our guide to the best Netflix shows for inspiration.