Why Netflix Recast Constantine In New Series

Back in May, the cast of one of Netflix's most highly-anticipated projects - The Sandman, a live-action take on Neil Gaiman's iconic comic universe - was announced and some of the choices were a bit surprising to fans. Specifically, Doctor Who alum Jenna Coleman was cast as Johanna Constantine and will play two versions of the character in the series, both the eighteenth-century ancestor of John Constantine as well as the present-day version. The casting left many fans wondering why the series didn't just go with John Constantine and now, Gaiman himself is opening up about the decision.

On Twitter, Gaiman was asked if the reason for the change in Constantines was a result of the John Constantine character appearing on The CW's DC's Legends of Tomorrow as well as the Constantine series in the works at HBO Max. Gaiman did note that the rights to the character were a bit complicated, but said that the plan for Lady Johanna and Joanna to be played by one person was always the plan.

"The rights situation with John is certainly circumscribed right now," Gaiman wrote. "But the plan to have Lady Johanna and Joanna be in the story and played by the same person was there from the start. It seemed tidier. So it worked out."

Over the weekend, Netflix revealed the first official look at the adaptation, offering the first footage from the series and giving fans a glimpse of Tom Sturridge as the title character. The footage revealed a very comics-accurate approach to the series, with the first look being a nearly perfect shot-by-shot recreation of the first issue of Gaiman's comic.

In addition to Coleman and Sturridge, The Sandman stars Kirby Howell-Baptiste as Death, Gwendoline Christie as Lucifer, Vivienne Acheampong as Lucienne, Boyd Holbrook as the Corinthian, Charles Dance as Roderick Burgess, Asim Chaudhry as Abel, Sanjeev Bhaskar as Cain, Mason Alexander Park as Desire, Donna Preston as Despair, Joely Richardson as Ethel Cripps, David Thewlis as John Dee/Doctor Destiny, Kyo Ra as Rose Walker, Stephen Fry as Gilbert, Razane Jammal as Lyta Hall, Sandra James-Young as Unity Kinkaid, and Patton Oswalt as the voice of Matthew. You can check out the brief plot description for the series below.

"A rich blend of modern myth and dark fantasy in which contemporary fiction, historical drama and legend are seamlessly interwoven, The Sandman follows the people and places affected by Morpheus, the Dream King, as he mends the cosmic - and human - mistakes he's made during his vast existence."