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Feast Your Eyes On The Dead Sexy Cast Neil Gaiman Has Assembled For "Neverwhere"

By Joanna Robinson | Seriously Random Lists | November 29, 2012 | Comments ()


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It's not very classy for a film & TV blogger to lose their sh*t over a piece of trade news the way I did earlier today. But damn me if the existence of a new radio play of Neil Gaiman's fantastic "Neverwhere" isn't the best Christmas present I could possibly hope for. Gaiman's delightful novel (which was, originally, a subpar miniseries the BBC put forth in 1996) tells the story of Richard Mayhew, the strange girl Door and their adventures in Gaiman's mythical "London Below." This brilliant alterna-verse is populated with characters named for London landmarks (The Old Bailey), regions (The Angel Islington) and tube stops (The Black Friars). This story is Gaiman's at his finest and delivers up the perfect blend of fairytale, myth, modern crime story and romance. This recording which, according to Gaiman "will be broadcast somewhere in the first 4 months of 2013" will be available for anyone to listen anywhere in the world with the BBC's iPlayer. I hope to hell they release a final version to purchase. I will buy the sh*t out of it. Feast your eyes on the amazingly talented voice cast that has assembled.

James McAvoy--Richard Mayhew: McAvoy is a personal (and Pajiban) favorite. He'll be perfect for the role of our hero, an ordinary young man plunged into an unknown world (not wholly dissimilar from the part he played in Wanted).
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Natalie Dormer--Door: A young woman from the mythical "London Below" with the inherited ability to "open" things. Dormer's simper has annoyed many in the past in both her role in "The Tudors" and on "Game of Thrones." Thankfully, this being a radio play, the simper won't be a problem. Instead we'll be treated to Dormer's bright, rich delivery. Of which I'm a fan.
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David Harewood--Marquis de Carabas: My mind was blown a few weeks ago when I discovered the "Homeland" actor was British. (Watched him run a British prison cell block with an iron fist and a loaded syringe was jarring to say the least.) I should have remembered him, of course, from that episode of "Doctor Who". He'll be absolutely delightful as the cunning Marquis, Richard and Door's unreliable ally.
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Sophie Okonedo--Hunter: Another "Doctor Who" alum (and what B-level British actor isn't), Okonedo has one of my favorite voices. This is an instance, however, where I'm particularly bummed we won't be seeing a filmed version of the story. Okonedo is PERFECT for the physically impressive and imperious Hunter. Basically, she rules.
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Benedict Cumberbatch--The Angel Islington: Better and better yet! The Angel Islington is a serene, arrogant, androgynous and imposing figure. Sound familiar? I haven't been this excited about voice casting since, uh, Benedict Cumberbatch was cast as Smaug. Fun fact, the Angel Islington was played in the original series by Peter Capaldi (aka Malcolm Tucker). Odd choice, that.
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Romola Garai--Jessica: I was just saying earlier today that Romola Garai (lately of "The Hour") has recently become a favorite girl crush. I'm a huge fan. Jessica is a disappointingly small role for someone of Garai's caliber, but I'm sure she'll pull off the part of Richard's disapproving girlfriend with aplomb.
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Anthony Stewart Head--Croup: Messr Croup along with Messr Vandemarr (played by David Schofield) are the terrifying (yet hilarious) assassins out to get our heroes. I think you all know how I feel about Head (who can play the heavy with the best of them). I can't wait to hear him snarl.
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Lucy Cohu--Lamia: Cohu is not very well-known stateside. She had an integral role in the "Torchwood: Children Of Earth" series and a supporting (but seductive) role in Becoming Jane. I saw her in a play a few years back in London and let me assure you, the woman has a voice that drips sex like butter drips from a crumpet. She's a perfect choice for the Lamia which is, essentially, London Below's version of a vampire.
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Benard Cribbins--Old Bailey: Sexy? Maybe not in the strictest sense. But, oh, you "Doctor Who" fans must surely be rubbing your hands in glee. Wilf!
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Christopher Lee--Earl of Earl's Court: What Lee lacks in sex he makes up for in eyebags venerability. If you're not sure how much joy you'll get out of listening to him, then I urge you to rewatch The Lord Of The Rings with his commentary on. You'll learn more about Tolkein than you ever dreamed. Bottom line, this is slam-dunk casting and Gaiman is exactly right to be over the moon about it.
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And a photo of part of the assembled cast courtesy of Neil Gaiman's website.
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(H/T stardust)



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Comments Are Welcome, Jerks Will Be Banned


  • Stop looking at me like that, James McAvoy.

  • ronniedobbs

    I'm so excited that I didn't even read the article yet. But WHY WHY WHY is this not happening as a movie? Yes, McAvoy's voice is charming and lovely, but so is his damned charming and lovely FACE. Can we make a petition for this to be a movie?

  • Sara_Tonin00

    Anybody else imagine Gina Torres as Hunter while reading the book?

  • Optimus Rhyme

    I kept trying to figure out what a WILF was. Widower I'd Like to F*ck?

  • Drake

    OK, I got chills. I want this SO badly.

  • sars

    I watched about 5 minutes of BBC production of "Neverwhere"-- it was so horrible- and so shockingly unfair to the book that I turned it off before the rest of the book was marred by the horrible thing playing on TV. GAH!!! an apaprantly it was approved by Gaiman, so I really hope this ones going to be better

  • JoannaRobinson

    The miniseries actually came before the book. The book was a novelization of the series. Weird, right?

  • Galia

    Yeah, apparently the miniseries was a thing, and didn't do so well. Then Gaiman went, "well, this storyline is *awesome* and deserves more fame, so I'll just turn it into a book."
    I have to admit, I love the heck out of that miniseries.

  • sars

    had seriusly no IDEA! wow- well the book is better still- that series was terrible

  • babblebeth

    Which is why a disappointed Gaiman wrote the book. He wanted something that did the story in his head justice.

  • Tinkerville

    Wait, what?! I don't know why that odd fact is so shocking to me, but my mind is sufficiently blown.

  • JenVegas

    I seriously cannot catch my breath right now I'm so excited about this. and also yes, seriously why ISN'T this going to be a movie?

  • FrayedMachine

    Excuse me while I piddle in my fan girl pants but OH MY GOD YES PLEASE AND THANK YOU

  • BlackRabbit

    And am I the only one who did a double-take at Giles and Sherlock being on the same group? Seeing them seperately is one thing, but....

  • chanohack

    Wilf is my favorite recurring Who character of all time. The man has my heartstrings under his complete control. I cry when he's happy. I cry when he's sad. I cry when he's proud. My list goes on.

  • ed newman

    Is Romola Garai auditioning for the lead in the Courtney Love Story in that header?

  • ed newman

    All that pretty just confirms the rock hard truth that sexy voices = sexy people. Off to the chat line I go secure in that knowledge!

  • TheOriginalMRod

    SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!

    Although I have to admit, I really love listening to the author read it. I am not sure who could do it justice as a feature film... maybe Peter Jackson. Damn... that would be cool, and he has just about run out of Tolkien. Or yeah... Matthew Vaughn.

  • stardust

    I'm still clapping my hands in glee over here. Yesterday if someone had told me this was going to happen with this cast, I would have told them to take their dreamy lies somewhere else.

  • psykins

    Listing every awesome actor ever is CHEATING! Now of course I'm going to have to see it....

  • Sophie Okonedo "B grade"? Wash your mouth out.

  • 'What Lee lacks in sex'
    Excuse me? The man's voice on its own IS sex.

  • Jemiah Jefferson

    His fencing ability works for me, too.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    I thought the *exact* same thing when I read that.

  • pepper

    Please please have a full recording for sale - i'd TOTALLY buy the shit out of it! McAvoy & Lee & Head & Cumberbatch. Ears, you are in for such a mind-melting treat.

  • Emmet O'Cuana

    Them's some mighty purty mouths.

  • Tinkerville

    Good GOD. Somewhere in the first 4 months of 2013?! Not okay. I need this now.

    PS: I can't help it, I love Natalie Dormer's simper. She's nine kinds of sexy.

  • Amanda

    i'll just be over here, crying. This cast couldn't get more perfect if it tried. I would love to see a mini-series go into production with this bunch.

  • kdm

    How can we convince him to make this a movie?!?! Seriously, Gaiman, I love you but you're KILLING me with this. That is some dream casting right there.

  • Heidi McClure

    Right? I feel like I'm about to die of not-a-movie.

  • Door

    David Harewood so resembles the man who played the Marquis in the mini-series (to be fair, it's been years since I last watched it), that I was utterly convinced they were the same person. But no, that was Paterson Joseph (who was also in Doctor Who, as all British actors must be, way back in 05).

  • Hazel Dean

    The original Marquis is Alan Johnson from Peep Show (and also Lyndon from Green Wing)! Love him.

    Actually, I thought the miniseries was rather underrated, and also had an amazing cast (Paterson Joseph, Peter Capaldi, Tamsin Greig and Lydia from Breaking Bad among them).

  • googergieger

    Cumberbatch sounds like the most British word for vagina, ever.

  • Kip Hackman

    His whole name is a sex euphemism. "I'll Benedict your Cumberbatch." Imagine what someone clever could do with that material.

  • PDamian

    I prefer "cumber my batch." Benedict means "blessed," and I've had enough of right-wing, tea-baggin' zealots up in my ladyparts for one electoral season, thanks.

  • Oh. My. God. Romola Garai.

    That is all.

  • Blake

    You had me at Romola.

  • My favorite book, by my favorite author, being read by a cast full of amazing actors? Yes, the fuck, please.

  • Fredo

    And this isn't going to be a movie because....????

    Hire Matthew Vaughn, let's get this puppy into production and release it for Christmas 2013.

    Anyone see a problem with this plan?

  • alannaofdoom

    Hell, someone just needs to sneak a camera into the recording studio and I'll be satisfied.

    I am erasing EVERYTHING on my Christmas list to make room for this.

  • Fabius_Maximus

    With the exception that Cribbins or Lee might die during the production, there is no problem with it.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    They could just get Frank Langella to play the Christopher Lee part anyway. The two Draculas are practically interchangeable to me I confuse them all the time.

  • FrayedMachine

    How dare you. They will both live for forever. FOREVER.

  • Chryseis

    Excellent suggestion. The only problem I see is that Christmas 2013 is, like, more than a year away and I'm not sure I could wait that long.

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