In The Sandman, Netflix’s take on Neil Gaiman’s beloved comics, the titular Dream faces off against a host of enemies, from the eyeball-eating Corinthian to his siblings Despair and Desire. Then there’s Lucifer, played by Game of Thrones star Gwendoline Christie, who got to go toe-to-toe with Tom Sturridge’s leading man.
The pair first meet on screen in episode 4, ‘A Hope in Hell’, when Dream visits the underworld and learns that his missing helmet is in the possession of a demon. After gaining an audience with the formidable fallen angel, Dream aka Morpheus soon finds himself dueling Lucifer in a luxurious throne room in his effort to take back what is his.
“Pretty much everything was there. They really built that palace,” Christie tells Total Film, when asked what it was like to shoot the scene. “It was on stilts. It was a huge set, with fire pits. It had human bodies coming out of the walls. It was extraordinary. Obviously we used a lot of visual effects elements, especially during the challenge, those are always tough, but working with Tom Sturridge was really a delight. It was about the embrace that we had together as actors, the connection that we had and the trust that we had in each other.
“I think we really loved playing those scenes. So, it was about listening to Tom and reacting to him. We had a brilliant director, Jamie Childs, who wanted to take things as far as possible. We had different ideas for our performances. In terms of emotionality or how far we wanted to go, and he was really willing to go there with us. It was an amazing and joyful collaborative experience…in hell.”
Much of the dialogue used in the sequence is lifted directly from Gaiman’s graphic novels, and it’s certainly not the only time the show is directly adapted. Also starring the likes of Boyd Holbrook, Kirby Howell-Baptiste, David Thewlis and Jenna Coleman, The Sandman follows Dream, a powerful cosmic being, as he travels to different worlds to retrieve his tools and restore balance after being imprisoned for over a century. by a ruthless magic user.
All 10 episodes are available to stream now. If dark fantasy isn’t your thing and you’re overwhelmed by the amount of content on the platform, check out our guide to the best Netflix shows for inspiration.