The Sandman: Neil Gaiman Confirms Ferdinand Kingsley’s Casting As Fan Favourite Hob Gadling – Exclusive

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The world of Neil Gaiman’s epic, imaginative comic book fantasy The Sandman is a sprawling one – a grand sweep of mythological figures, Biblical characters, humans and beyond. So it’s no wonder the cast for Netflix’s series adaptation is similarly vast – with everyone from Tom Sturridge (Morpheus, aka Dream), to Stephen Fry (Gilbert), to Gwendoline Christie (Lucifer) among the line-up. Now, Empire can exclusively add another name to the list: in a recent interview, Gaiman himself confirmed that fan-favourite character Hob Gadling will appear in the show, and that he’ll be played by Ferdinand Kingsley – previously seen in period drama series Victoria, and David Fincher’s Mank.

In the comics, Gadling is – in a sense – Dream’s oldest friend; a 14th Century soldier from the Hundred Years War who decides that death is simply a bad habit, and so chooses never to die. As a result, he lives on – and meets up with Dream at 100 year intervals. Speaking to Empire, Gaiman hailed Kingsley’s performance, and how much it hews to the character he first envisioned on the page. “I will say of Ferdie that […] more than anything else that we’ve done, except possibly Stephen Fry as Gilbert, it’s exactly the thing and the performance that I had in my head 35 years ago,” he says. “It’s just like, ‘Oh, there you go, there’s Hob Gadling’. So Ferdie rocks.” He adds that Gadling first appears in the sixth episode of the series, which he described as “the most feel-good and lovely” of all the instalments.

In the latest issue of Empire, Gaiman spoke about how The Sandman series is “all about surprising you”, with each episode bearing a distinctive tone. “You watch Episode 1 and think, ‘Oh, I get this thing: it’s like Downton Abbey, but with magic,’” he says. “Then you’ll be wondering, ‘What the hell is this?’ by Episode 2, when you’re meeting Gregory The Gargoyle in The Dreaming.”

Empire – April 2022 cover

Read Empire’s full story on The Sandman in the Moon Knight issue, out now – and available to order online here. The Sandman is due to stream on Netflix later this year.

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