According to Neil Gaiman, Michael Jackson Wanted To Be In “The Sandman” TV Series

Michael Jackson reportedly wanted to play Morpheus in the 1996 Warner Bros. unsuccessful “The Sandman” movie adaptation, according to author Neil Gaiman. “The Sandman,” a 75-issue series written by the English author for DC Comics in 1989, is the basis for the Netflix adaptation, which debuted its first season on August 5. The adaption, which was created for television by Gaiman, David S. Goyer of The Dark Knight trilogy, and Wonder Woman’s Allen Heinberg, stars Tom Sturridge in the title role.

The Sandman was first adapted in 1991 as a feature picture rather than a television series. Over two decades of development hell were spent on the project before Goyer offered a good screenplay to Warner Bros. and Gaiman opted to join as a producer with Joseph Gordon-Levitt attached as the lead actor and director of The Dark Knight Rises. However, he left the project a few years later because of artistic differences, and the movie never materialized. Gordon-Levitt may have been interested in the part before an even greater celebrity, though.

Gaiman recently shared a tale about how Michael Jackson wanted to play “The Sandman” during an interview on the Josh Horowitz-hosted Happy Sad Confused podcast. When Warner Bros.’ president at the time answered the phone, Jackson requested if he might play Morpheus in The Sandman. The following is what Gaiman said:

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. 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.”

While Gaiman admitted to being naive about the casting process, which he assumed would be straightforward but ended up witnessing 1500 auditions for the job over the years, he did not express his opinions on how Jackson would have represented Morpheus. In recent interviews, Gaiman has discussed how he ruined a previous attempt to adapt “The Sandman” by releasing a script written by Man of Steel producer Jon Peters that he thought was “very awful.” Gaiman has been fiercely protective of his magnum opus.

Jackson might have been given the chance to replace Sturridge as Morpheus in a Sandman adaption in a different time period. Given that he was a natural performer, The King of Pop undoubtedly could have held his own in the starring part. He previously displayed his acting prowess in leading parts in Moonwalker and The Wiz, as well as a cameo in Men in Black II. “The Sandman” series is finally a reality after thirty years of production with numerous actors attached to the role of Morpheus. It is currently waiting for a season 2 renewal from Netflix.

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