Neil Gaiman's Sandman was first published by Vertigo back in 1989 and apparently he's spent the years since imagining who would be the right actor to play his lead character, Morpheus, in a film adaptation. Some names have come and gone, and some are no longer available, but he does now have one particular actor in mind for the version that is currently in development: Tom Hiddleston.

Gaiman recently revealed his thoughts about the Thor star to Radio Times, speaking about the Sandman film that is currently in development at Warner Bros. with Man of Steel screenwriter David S. Goyer and Joseph Gordon-Levitt attached to produce. But while Hiddleston was the name that he ultimately highlighted as a choice pick, it was only after noting another big star who could have been perfect. The famed author noted that he has had many thoughts on the subject over the years, and even at one point thought that Johnny Depp would have been a good fit (though he's "too old" now, and "it's fine"). More recently, though, he was struck with a bit of inspiration while watching Sherlock, and determined that Benedict Cumberbatch would make a great big screen version of the comic book character. Said Gaiman,
"I think the first time I saw Benedict was as Sherlock Holmes, I thought, 'Wow, that's incredibly Morpheus.' And fans probably thought the same because they immediately started doing fan-art, meshing the two of them up."

Of course, comic book fans will note that Benedict Cumberbatch recently signed on to play Doctor Strange in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and that role will likely keep him away from doing Sandman. It was at this point in the conversation that Neil Gaiman threw out the name of another Marvel star (albeit a non-hero one) and noted that he isn't overly concerned about the casting of Morpheus. Said the author,
"Then again, Tom Hiddleston is still out there! And the truth is, as far as I'm concerned, anybody who sounds English with great cheekbones can probably pull it off."

For those unfamiliar with the source material, Sandman tells the story of Morpheus, who is the personification of dreams. An occult ritual leaves him imprisoned for 70 years, and by the time he escapes he discovers that the empire that he has built has been destroyed. With his freedom, he plots to take revenge on those who locked him away and rebuild what he has lost. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is reportedly attached to direct the film as his follow-up to his 2013 debut Don Jon, though the status of the project is currently unknown, as Warner Bros. has not yet announced a release date.

Do you think Tom Hiddleston would be a good choice to play Morpheus in a Sandman movie, or is there another actor who would be better suited for the part? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.

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