While Netflix has yet to renew Neil Gaiman’s “The Sandman” for Season 2, it’s just given fans of the new hit TV series the next best thing by dropping a surprise “bonus” episode featuring guest stars Sandra Oh, James McAvoy, David Tennant and Michael Sheen.
Dropping Friday at 12 a.m. PT, exactly two weeks after the first 10 episodes launched, the new installment of “The Sandman” Season 1 is a live-action/animated hybrid episode adapting two fan-favorite stories from Gaiman’s “Sandman” graphic novels from DC Comics: “A Dream of a Thousand Cats” and “Calliope.”
“A Dream of a Thousand Cats” is the animated portion and stars Tom Sturridge in his leading “Sandman” role as Dream, as well as a guest voice cast members including Oh as The Prophet, Rosie Day as The Tabby Kitten, David Gyasi as The Grey Cat, Joe Lycett as The Black Cat, Gaiman himself as Crow/Skull Bird, McAvoy as Golden-Haired Man, David Tennant as Don, Georgia Tennant as Laura Lynn, Sheen as Paul, Anna Lundberg as Marion, Nonso Anozie as Wyvern, Diane Morgan as Gryphon, and Tom Wu as Hippogriff.
Gaiman diehards will remember that McAvoy voices Morpheus, a.k.a. Dream, in Audible’s “The Sandman” adaptation, while Sheen does the voice of Lucifer, who is portrayed by Gwendoline Christie in the Netflix series, and Tennant voices Loki. Sheen and Tennant also star in another Gaiman book-to-TV adaptation, Amazon Prime Video’s “Good Omens.”
“We endeavored to make the animated version of ‘A Dream of a Thousand Cats’ as mesmerizing and hypnotic as we could by utilizing the magic of real oil paintings on canvas,” Hisko Hulsing, who directed the animated story, said in a statement. “We combined the paintings with classically drawn 2D animation, based on realistic 3D animation of telepathic cats in order to create a trippy world that feels both grounded and dreamy at the same time. Untold Studios in London created the breathtaking 3D animation of the cats. The wonderful 2D animation, oil paintings and stylizing were all done at Submarine Studios in Amsterdam.”
The live-action story “Calliope,” directed by Louise Hooper, features Sturridge along with guest stars Melissanthi Mahut as Calliope, Arthur Darvill as Richard Madoc, Nina Wadia as Fate Mother, Souad Faress as Fate Crone, Dinita Gohil as Fate Maiden, Kevin Harvey as Larry, Amita Suman as Nora, and Derek Jacobi as Erasmus Fry.
The hybrid “Sandman” episode’s teleplay is penned by Catherine Smyth-McMullen and executive produced by show creators Gaiman and David S. Goyer, and showrunner Allan Heinberg.
Netflix’s “The Sandman” is produced by Warner Bros. Television and based on the DC Comics series of the same named from Gaiman, Sam Kieth and Mike Dringenberg.
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