How Neil Gaiman Got Benedict Cumberbatch to Voice Satan in 'Good Omens'

Fans were surprised to learn last week that Avengers: Infinity War and Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch is providing the voice of Satan on Amazon's upcoming Good Omens adaptation and it turns out that it wasn't terribly difficult for showrunner Neil Gaiman to get the actor to sign on.

In an interview with Collider, Gaiman, who co-wrote the 1990 novel Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter with the late Terry Pratchett, explained that he simply asked.

"Ben was just one of those lovely things of going, 'we need somebody this good to make this scene work. Oh shit.' ...And it was that thing of going, OK, you know, it's a small part, but if it doesn’t work, none of this sequence will work and just writing an email to Ben and saying, 'Would you come and do this please?'" Gaiman explained. "And the lovely thing, of course, is I can mention these guys and Frances and everything and he was there the next morning."

In Good Omens, Cumberbatch gives the voice to Satan in the show's sixth episode with Satan's appearance being "a giant animated Satan" as Gaiman previously explained. The series will follow Aziraphale (Michael Sheen) and Crowley (David Tennant), an angel and a demon who set out on a mission to locate the misplaced Antichrist in a near-apocalyptic world.

“It’s a massive, epic, sweeping show,” Tennant said in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. “I can’t wait to see the finished product. It’s quite hard to imagine at the moment. They’ve got months of post-production. It’s going to be one of the joys of it, seeing how it all comes together.”

“[Crowley is] a demon, who’s been stationed on earth since the Garden of Eden, who ends up teaming up with his opposite number, Aziraphale, played by Michael Sheen, to avert the oncoming apocalypse,” Tennant added. “They decide that actually, they quite like their life on earth as it is, and humanity being wiped out would mean they’d have to go back and live in heaven and hell, which is not a prospect that particularly cheers them. So they set out to undermine the coming of the Antichrist.”

The series' cast also includes Nick Offerman as the U.S. Ambassador, Jon Hamm as the Archangel Gabriel, and Frances McDormand as God -- who Cumberbatch’s Satan will specifically give "a run for her money".

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Good Omens drops May 31st on Amazon Prime.