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There's A Very Good Reason Tom Ellis Could Never Have Been Sandman's Lucifer

The long-awaited adaptation of "The Sandman" finally debuted on Netflix on August 5, bringing to life what is arguably one of author Neil Gaiman's most popular properties. However, some fans may have been wondering why the show didn't elect to bring back Tom Ellis as Lucifer, as the actor portrayed the character for six seasons on his own show. In addition, the "Lucifer" show was also loosely based on Gaiman's interpretation of the character, so it wouldn't have been entirely surprising to see Ellis step into his devil shoes once again for "The Sandman."

Instead, the new series elected to cast Gwendoline Christie as its particular version of Lucifer, a move that effectively confirmed that the "Lucifer" show existed in its own canon. As it turns out, though, there's actually a very good reason why Ellis's version of the devil just wouldn't have worked on "The Sandman," and it comes from none other than one of the executive producers of "Lucifer."

Tom Ellis' Lucifer is too different from The Sandman's version

During an interview with TVLine, "Lucifer" showrunners Ildy Modrovich and Joe Henderson revealed much about their time working on the show. Inevitably, they were asked about "The Sandman" and why, exactly, Tom Ellis did not reprise his role for the series. As it turns out, the two characters were just too drastically different from one another. "If you watch the show you see why, because her Lucifer is cruel, and brutal, and awesome," Henderson said in reference to Gwendoline Christie's take on Lucifer. "And it would break our hearts if Tom Ellis played that version of it, because ours is very sweet and kind."

This isn't so far off from the answer that Neil Gaiman himself gave on his Twitter back in May, and both of these answers make a lot of sense. It would be jarring to see a more cruel version of Ellis's Lucifer just suddenly appear in "The Sandman," and some fans may have a hard time buying it. This is especially true considering how much character development his character went through during the six seasons of "Lucifer." Bringing in Christie just ensures that fans are aware that this is a different version entirely.