Netflix unveiled their casting choice for Lucifer in Neil Gaiman’s Sandman recently when they tossed out promo photos of Gwendoline Christie, best known as Brienne of Tarth in Game of Thrones, faithful sidekick and shoulda-woulda-coulda to ickily incestuous Jamie Lannister. No doubt she’s perfectly androgynous — and with her cred as both Brienne and Captain Phasma, perfectly, icily wicked. Her promos are perfect. Her wings look wicked. She’ll drop the keys to Hell in Dream’s hand and walk away without a care.
But. But but but.
Gaiman famously modeled his casting choice for Lucifer on none other than the ultimate androgene, the perfect sylph, the king of wicked, all dangling cigarette and perfected smirk: David freaking Bowie. But Bowie died (ascended, shuffled off this mortal coil, rose a meter and stepped aside) in 2015, two days after dropping a magnum opus to oblivion, his spooky and enigmatic “Blackstar.” Netflix central casting had the impossible task of finding a stand-in. And who on God’s green earth can stand in for David Bowie? Would anyone dare? Other than Gillian Anderson’s Ziggy Stardust get-up in American Gods (playing Media), no one dares touch The Thin White Duke.
And rightly so. Famously, The Starman nearly played Elrond in The Lord of the Rings. Rumors swirl — he was too busy, or Jackson refused to cast him, as he was afraid Bowie would overshadow the whole film.
So they choose Gwendoline Christie as their casting choice for Lucifer: thicker, but still androgenous. We can’t help but support their choice, though Tilda Swinton, who somehow manages to bring something of Bowie’s panache and snobbery, may have been a better choice. In fact, fans have joked they’re the same person, a theory only disproved when the two starred in a short film together.
Christie will undoubtedly kill it as Gaiman’s Satan, and we’re in love with Sandman’s gender-bending going down (nonbinary Mason Alexander Park will be playing Desire). But no matter how great a performance Christie turns out as the casting choice for Lucifer, she’s not The Thin White Duke, and hardcore fans will no doubt feel that twinge of loss without their hero.