Neil Gaiman creates new storyline for Benedict Cumberbatch in 'Good Omens'

Greer McNally
·Contributor
Benedict Cumberbatch in the press room after winning the award for Best Actor at the Virgin Media BAFTA TV awards, held at the Royal Festival Hall in London. (Photo by Ian West/PA Images via Getty Images)
Benedict Cumberbatch in the press room after winning the award for Best Actor at the Virgin Media BAFTA TV awards, held at the Royal Festival Hall in London. (Photo by Ian West/PA Images via Getty Images)

It’s the Amazon Prime drama that Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman fans have been waiting for – Good Omens is finally here. But it may not be exactly as lovers of the novel remember it. Why? Because Neil Gaiman has admitted he’s made some tweaks, specifically to satan, the role played by Sherlock’s Benedict Cumberbatch.

“It’s going to keep you watching and engaged, I hope, until the last seconds of Episode 6.” He added, his motivation was partly, “just the knowledge that so many millions of people have read the novel, that you want to surprise them — you don’t want them all just being cocky and going, ‘I know what’s going to happen all the way through.'”

The news came in an interview Gaiman gave to Variety. He also spoke about he knew from the very start that the only person who could do the character of the devil justice was the BAFTA-winning actor.

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Read more: Benedict Cumberbatch to play Satan in Neil Gaiman's 'Good Omens'

“I started thinking, ‘Okay, who can I find? Who could give me this performance in a small enough space?’, Benedict was simply my first choice.”

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 28: Neil Gaiman attends the Global premiere of Amazon Original "Good Omens" at Odeon Luxe Leicester Square on May 28, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Marsland/WireImage)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 28: Neil Gaiman attends the Global premiere of Amazon Original "Good Omens" at Odeon Luxe Leicester Square on May 28, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Marsland/WireImage)

So rather than going through agents, the writer dropped Cumberbatch an email, and the actor was soon on board. Gaiman knew he’d made the right decision when the actor came into the recording studio to voice the 500ft demon.

“A soon as Benedict started making the lines his own, the whole thing came to life. Suddenly, it was no longer a monster movie,” he says. “Suddenly, it felt like ‘Good Omens’ again. You had somebody who might be 500-foot high, that was basically an absent father unable to deal with a rebellious kid.”

Read more: Everything you need to know about Good Omens

Good Omens launched on Amazon Prime on Friday and is already being called “fantastic” by fans. Gaiman even makes a cameo himself, so keeps your eyes peeled.