Neil Gaiman’s Story Behind Casting Patton Oswalt In Netflix’s ‘The Sandman’ Is One That Comic Book Fans Will Dig

If it feels like Patton Oswalt’s everywhere right now on TV at the moment, that’s because he kind-of is everywhere these days. The man who embodied Constable Bob is currently bringing us Marvel’s M.O.D.O.K. (on Hulu), a villain who’s far too good (and bad) for the MCU. Before that, he managed to shock Amazon Prime’s The Boys audience (that’s what happens when you “cameo” as a set of gills for the lead pervert character who deserves comeuppance), and soon, he’ll be the voice of an adorable-as-hell Netflix docuseries about Penguins. And he’s executive producing a new episode of HBO’s I’ll Be Gone In The Dark, which will detail new revelations on a case that sparked the true-crime obsession of the late Michelle McNamara.

That’s certainly not all. Patton has been cast in the long-gestating live-action version of Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman for Netflix (which is happening in addition to more of Audible’s installments that will be forthcoming soon). Patton will voice Matthew the Raven, a trusted representative who undertakes missions on behalf of Dream/Morpheus, and Patton comes by his interest in the role honestly. That’s according to Neil Gaiman, by the way, who reflected (in a blog post) upon news of around a dozen new castings for the series. When it came to Patton as Matthew, Gaiman revealed that Patton was the first actor cast in the series, and the reasons are glowing ones.

“I expected our animals to be CGI, and was both taken aback and thrilled when the dailies started coming in, and there was Dream talking to… well, a raven. But ravens don’t really talk,” Gaiman wrote. “The question was, could we find an actor who could make you care about a dead person who was now a bird in the Dreaming — one who isn’t certain what’s going on, or whether any of this is a good idea? And could we find a voice performer who was also the kind of Sandman fan who used to stand in line to get his Sandman comics signed? The answer was, we could if we asked Patton Oswalt (he/him). And Patton was the first person we asked, and the first person we cast, the day before we pitched The Sandman to Netflix.”

On Twitter, Patton confirmed that, yes, he did stand in line to get a hardback edition of Seasons Of Mists (Vol 4. of The Sandman graphic novels) signed by Gaiman. (As fans would say, you love to see it.)

Previously, Netflix announced that Dream would be played by Tom Sturridge, and Gwendoline Christie would rule Hell as Lucifer, and Gaiman detailed many more roles, including a big one: Kirby Howell-Baptiste (Cruella, The Good Place), who will play Dream’s sister, Death (portrayed in the Audible version by Kat Dennings). Gaiman wrote, “[W]e knew we had our Death” when he saw Kirby’s audition and realized that she could pull off “[s]omeone who could speak the truth to Dream, on the one hand, but also be the person you’d want to meet when your life was done on the other.”

You can read Gaiman’s full blog post (with even more casting news) here, and here’s a handy graphic-listing from Netflix on Twitter.

(Via Netflix)