Set your TiVo for the Dream King! After years of limbo for a proposed SANDMAN movie, the hugely popular Neil Gaiman fantasy comics series is now in development as a TV series, THR reports. Warners is trying to get the property going, with Supernatural producer Eric Kripke, on the short list to develop.

Up until a few months ago, DC was in talks with HBO and James Mangold to develop a show minus WBTV’s involvement, but that never coalesced.
Gaiman was not officially involved with the HBO attempt, though he and Mangold held several rounds of talks surrounding characters and story. The author is not involved in the new developments, though since it is early in the process, that may change. In fact, securing Gaiman will prove key for the project to go forward.

Kripke has been described as interested in tackling an adaptation but cautious because the comic book has such a passionate following and is held in such high regard. It’s the kind of series where each production decision, from casting to script to design, would be scrutinized by devotees.

Eric Kripke is wise.

SANDMAN is a pillar of Gaiman’s oeuvre and indeed, comics in the ’90s — the fantastic tale of Dream and the Endless won multiple awards has sold hundreds of thousands of copies and is still required reading for girls who want to go Goth, as well as enthusiasts of fine comics literature everywhere. The developments sound very preliminary but are doubtless part of WB’s renewed enthusiasm in all of the DC comics properties.


  1. The only networks that should be allowed to air a SANDMAN TV series are HBO, Showtime and AMC. None of the others will do the series justice, at least in terms of credibility for the production.

    If this somehow gets relegated to the CW network, of all places, expect a Category 5 Fanpocalypse immediately following the announcement.

  2. I could see it work at Showtime or HBO, if it were on the CW it would be a bit of a mess. Just don’t see them having the budget for the special effects, could see this being of the quality of a Stephen King mini-series.

  3. Any word on “Death: The High Cost of Living” movie? Gaiman is writing and directing that, if it ever enters production.

    As for television… there are some rather disturbing visuals in the series (the diner, The Corinthian, the cereal convention) which might work better if seen offstage, letting the viewer make the closure.

    Will the series be finite? Will it adapt, or innovate?

    My advice? Gain Gaiman’s involvement. Don’t listen to the internet reaction. Craft and cast the best show possible. Fans will watch it at least once (if only to complain). Gain a mass audience, and the ‘net won’t matter.

  4. I don’t think it’s worth speculating about this scene or that scene from the books, because television series are rarely straight adaptations of existing stories in that sense. More likely they’ll take the series’ basic concept (the Endless, with Dream restoring his realm) and write new episodes based on it, liberally taking ideas from Gaiman’s books, but not adapting them per se.

  5. Kevin, I don’t know what you’re talking about- I was under the impression Bowie was aging backwards for the past few years now.. by the time production rolls around he should be prime for it..

    I’ll be a little surprised if this get to the screen before Preacher- not on account of wanting one over the other- just from a budget standpoint you look at how much it would cost to do SANDMAN (properly) and then look at Preacher and it’s not much of a contest.. Though I know there are other issues at hand for both properties..

    That all being said I’m not particularly looking forward to seeing how badly ether might (will) get screwed up.. but like the fanboy that I am I still can’t wait to see ’em!

  6. It’s the kind of series where each production decision, from casting to script to design, would be scrutinized by devotees.

    Uh, yeah, wise. Since half of fandom’s reaction to Kripke’s name being attached was a violent DO NOT WANT on Twitter last night.

  7. Even with how much powerful CGI is these days, I’m not sure a tv show budget would do the Sandman justice. Personally, if a show went forward, I would be hoping for it to be animated show rather than live action.

  8. The only way it would work is to do it in the style of cheezy low-budg eighties anthology shows like Tales From The Crypt.

  9. Yeah. There’s no way in hell you’ll get a good Sandman show on the CW. It’s a miracle Kripke’s made such a good show in Supernatural on the CW. Yeah, AMC or HBO or Showtime are some of the few that could handle it. I dunno, is Starz doing full shows or just minis and movies? Maybe Walking Dead will help cement an opening for mature horror comics series on TV.

    Meanwhile, Kripke is surely used to rabid fanbases and ones of mostly female fans. So I think he should be ready to handle us crazy Gaimanites. Diving into SPN fandom in the past couple of years, they are also a crazy lot. (I mean.. have you see some of the SPN fandom? Whoo. Hell, even I’ve added my own fair share of squick fanfic just for laughs.)

    Getting Neil himself on board certainly would help things a lot.

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