Something really cool for fans of British things (which I, for one, most certainly am): It was announced last week that Neil Gaiman’s TV miniseries turned novel turned comic book Neverwhere can add yet another hyphen to its list of mediums – Radio. Yes, BBC Radio 4 is dramatizing the fantastic story for audio to be broadcast next year. Making it even more awesome is the insane list of performers who’ve been brought in to play the parts. Get ready to geek right the hell out as I give you a rundown of the cast and characters:
James McAvoy as Richard Mayhew The star of Wanted and X-Men: First Class, not to mention the upcoming X-Men: Days of Future Past, will play Richard Mayhew, the lost Scotsman who, through unfortunate circumstances, is thrust into the nightmarish world of London Below when he helps a hurt young woman. Fish out of water, this guy.
Natalie Dormer as Door Dormer played Anne Boleyn in The Tudors and is one of the six billion characters on HBO’s Game of Thrones, and now she’s tackling the role of Door, the aforementioned young woman who Richard saves and who leads him into the terrifying world under London. She’s very much full of mystery, but protecting her is of utmost import.
David Harewood as the Marquis de Carabas Known to TV fans for his roles on Homeland and Robin Hood, he also played the plot-pointy Joshua Naismith in “The End of Time,” David Tennant’s final two episodes of Doctor Who. In Neverwhere, he’s playing the ubiquitous trickster who helps Door and is basically nasty to Richard, in a fun way.
Sophie Okonedo as Hunter She played Liz 10, the bloody queen, mate, in Series 5 of Doctor Who and will be lending her voice to Hunter, London Below’s most legendary fighter and bodyguard, who is hired by Door for protection.
Benedict Cumberbatch as Islington You may have heard of him; he’s only Sherlock friggin’ Holmes! He’s also the baddie in The Hobbit and Star Trek Into Darkness. Yeah, he’s kind of a big deal. He’ll be playing Islington, a mysterious character that would be a huge spoiler if any more was described.
Anthony Head as Croup The man who played Giles on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and a whole heap of other fantastic roles in film and television will play one of the two ruthless murderers sent to assassinate Door. Croup is the talkative one.
David Schofield as Vandemar The venerable film and TV veteran with nearly 100 credits and who was in An American Werewolf in London and all three Pirates of the Caribbean movies plays Vandemar, the other, quieter, nastier assassin.
Bernard Cribbins as Old Bailey A staple of British film and TV for nearly sixty years, Cribbins of course played Wilfred Mott, grandfather of Donna Noble and companion in his own right in Doctor Who. Here he plays Old Bailey, a friend of the Marquis’ and a keeper of pigeons, among other things.
Romola Garai as Jessica The Atonement actress, late of BBC’s The Hour, will play Jessica, Richard’s irritated fiance in London Above.
Sir Christopher Lee as the Earl of Earl’s Court Oh, let’s see… Dracula, Saruman, Count Dooku, a zillion other great and memorable roles. Here he’s playing one of London Below’s tube station-named aristocrats.
With a cast like that, how could we not be excited? Oh, and apparently Neil Gaiman himself will also feature, presumably as a narrator. The play will broadcast in the UK in 2013 and hopefully (please, please, please) will be made available in some format here in the US. Or, they could just decide to make it into a film with this exact cast. Just saying.