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Good Omens: Neil Gaiman Explains How Benedict Cumberbatch was Cast as Satan

As Good Omens prepares for its wide release on Amazon at the end of May, producer and showrunner Neil Gaiman reveals how the adaptation approached Benedict Cumberbatch to voice Satan deep into production.

Gaiman, who also co-wrote the 1990 fantasy novel upon which the upcoming miniseries is based off of with Terry Pratchett, realized that the animated incarnation of Satan appearing in the sixth episode would require a voice character of Cumberbatch's caliber and sent an email to the Academy Award-nominated actor while the miniseries was in principal photography.

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"Ben was just one of those lovely things of going, ‘We need somebody this good to make this scene work. Oh shit,’" explained Gaiman in an interview with Collider. "It’s a small part, but if it doesn’t work, none of this sequence will work and just writing an email to Ben and saying, ‘Would you come and do this, please?'"

Fortunately for the adaptation, Cumberbatch signed on immediately after learning of the level of talent both in terms of the cast and crew, with his casting officially announced earlier this week.

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"The lovely thing, of course, is I can mention [stars David Tennant and Michael Sheen] and Frances [McDormand] and everything and he was there the next morning," Gaiman elaborated.

Premiering May 31 on Amazon, Good Omens stars David Tennant, Michael Sheen, Jon Hamm, Jack Whitehall, Michael McKean, Miranda Richardson, Benedict Cumberbatch and Frances McDormand.

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