'Lucifer' Showrunner on Recruiting Neil Gaiman as God

In "Once Upon a Time," one of tonight's Lucifer bonus episodes (and currently scheduled as the show's last episode unless it is saved by another network after being cancelled by FOX), Lucifer met his creator.

Quite literally, in fact, as the voice of God was provided by Neil Gaiman, whose version of Lucifer in Sandman provided the basis for the comic book series on which the show was based.

"Oh my God, it was awesome," executive producer Joe Henderson told ComicBook.com. "First of all, I am a huge Neil Gaiman nerd. I grew up on Sandman, I cut my teeth on Sandman. So I have had the luck, because of the show, to e-mail with him once or twice a year. The whole idea for this 'Once Upon a Time' in the pitch which I brought to the room, I ended it with, "And by the way, the narrator we've been listening to the entire time is Neil Gaiman." That was the pitch. And everyone's like, 'Oh, that would be cool, that would be fun.' And then we finally got to the episode, we finally broke it, and it was still that. So I just emailed Neil, I was like, 'Hey, I don't even know if this is anything you're interested in, but we've read this episode, it's narrated by God. I love your audiobooks,' -- which is true, that's how I read all of his books -- 'And you're the voice that's been in my head while we've been writing it. Would you be interested?' And his reply, I'm gonna butcher it, but in typical Neil Gaiman fashion it was basically, 'I don't have the time at all. Let's figure out a way to do it anyways.'...And I got to direct Neil Gaiman doing voiceover. And mostly that was me just saying, 'That sounds awesome.'"

Henderson said that while he could not say the decision to make Gaiman into God was directly influenced by a Fantastic Four issue in which God was played by Jack Kirby, he thought of that issue during the process.

"I love that Waid/Wieringo run; it was fantastic," Henderson said. "That was part of my pitch to him. I was like, 'Listen, you are literally Lucifer's creator. I can't think of a better way to bring our story full circle within that episode, and also within what we've been creating.' Whenever you get to the question of who God is, going meta [is a good idea]. I love that issue where it was like, 'Of course it's Kirby. Of course.' But what a cool way to honor the people who have created something, but also to give the audience a nice little nudge."

This wasn't the only concession to the comics tonight: the episode also featured Maze's half-mask, which in the comics covers a demonic deformity on half of her face.

Henderson and the show's cast and crew are holding out hope that a strong performance by tonight's "bonus episodes," which were originally going to air during a planned fourth season, might help revive the cancelled series.

Henderson assured ComicBook.com that producers are still in talks, trying to find the show another home -- he can't say where, for logistical reasons -- and that while Memorial Day ratings are an uphill battle, a respectable number would be a big help to keeping the show alive.


"Memorial Day night is definitely not gonna bring gang buster numbers, we know that," Henderson said. "But if it brings surprisingly stubborn numbers, even that speaks to the value of the show. And honestly, the #SaveLucifer campaign. One million Tweets in 24 hours -- that is bananas. The number of people who have e-mailed me and noticed, who I didn't even know were on Twitter or weren't on Twitter and just heard about it, is mind-blowing. I have never seen anything...I genuinely didn't expect it. And not in the, 'I didn't know people like our show that much.' I do. I just guess it's a little bit of humility mixed with a little bit of not realizing just how many people we'd touched. And it's been incredible."

Lucifer will air two hours of bonus episodes tonight on FOX at 8 p.m. ET/PT.