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Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere gets James McAvoy, Benedict Cumberbatch and more

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They have got quite the cast assembled for a new BBC Radio 4/Radio 4 Extra radio adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s excellent Neverwhere.

James McAvoy will be playing the hero, Richard Mayhew. Natalie Dormer is Door. David Harewood is the Marquis de Carabas. Sophie Okonedo is Hunter. Benedict Cumberbatch is The Angel Islington. Romola Garai is Jessica. Anthony Stewart Head is Croup. Bernard Cribbins is Old Bailey. Christopher Lee is the Earl of Earl’s Court.

Neil Gaiman posted the news on his blog.

The adaptation is by Dirk Maggs, who did the last three Hitchhiker’s Guide Radio adaptations. He’s co-directing it with producer Heather Larmour, who is the one who went off and made this happen after a small enthusiastic chat in a London coffee shop much earlier this year — the kind of conversation that you have that normally just leaves you feeling happy, but doesn’t actually turn into anything real. This time it did.

It will go out in six episodes.

Am I excited? I am. Very much so.

(Also, CHRISTOPHER LEE IS GOING TO BE SAYING LINES I WROTE. This makes me happier than I have any right to be.)

It will be broadcast somewhere in the first 4 months of 2013. And you will be able to listen to it wherever you are in the world, using the BBC’s iPlayer.

I remember the old BBC series of this which, despite its flaws, was worth a watch.

I would love to see this cast in a new TV or movie adaptation, but I will definitely be listening in when it is broadcast.

Here is the books synopsis:

Under the streets of London there’s a world most people could never even dream of. A city of monsters and saints, murderers and angels, and pale girls in black velvet. Richard Mayhew is a young businessman who is about to find out more than he bargained for about this other London. A single act of kindness catapults him out of his safe and predictable life and into a world that is at once eerily familiar and yet utterly bizarre. There’s a girl named Door, an Angel called Islington, an Earl who holds Court on the carriage of a Tube train, a Beast in a labyrinth, and dangers and delights beyond imagining… And Richard, who only wants to go home, is to find a strange destiny waiting for him below the streets of his native city.