A late Sunday announcement from Hollywood Reporter reveals that Neil Gaiman’s Sandman is likely coming to Netflix. This isn’t the first attempted adaptation of the beloved Vertigo comic. Nearly three years ago, New Line was set to create the Sandman movie, but sunk after star Joseph Gordon-Levitt abandoned the project due to creative differences. David Goyer, who Gaiman worked with on the film, returns for this tv series as executive producer.
Although a formal deal hasn’t been signed, fans should stay hopeful. Insiders familiar with the Netflix and Warner Bros deal to create Sandman say it has a significant financial backing. In fact, “sources familiar with the pact note it is the most expensive TV series that DC Entertainment has ever done,” per THR. With any luck then, Gaiman’s best-seller shouldn’t end up like DC Universe’s prematurely cancelled Swamp Thing. Though it is noteworthy that the show will land on a third party streaming service and not DC’s.
Since nothing is official yet, there’s not a lot of information about the Netflix take on Sandman, other than a few key players. Gaiman, series creator, will executive produce alongside the aforementioned David Goyer and they’re joined by writer showrunner Allan Heinberg (Wonder Woman, ABC’s The Catch, Grey’s Anatomy).
Gaiman’s work is experiencing a huge resurgence through adaptations just like this one. Only a few weeks ago, the Good Omens tv series landed on Amazon Prime, originally a novel he wrote alongside the late Terry Pratchett. American Gods, another of his books, got the Starz tv show treatment as well as a comic retelling back in in 2017.
Sandman is one of Gaiman’s original claims to fame. Since the time it first hit comic shelves in 1989, it’s heavily influenced the fantasy genre and garnered acclaim from fans and critics alike. Aside from the 26 Eisners it and its spin-off series’ have earned, it’s also received the World Fantasy award, a Hugo award, the Bram Stoker award and many, many more. It would also become one of Vertigo’s flagship titles, helping to define the young imprint. It, along with titles such as Swamp Thing and Hellblazer were lynchpins for its success.
Sandman tells the story of Dream, a supernatural being who watches over the dream world. He’s one of seven similar entities called Endless, along with Destiny, Death, Desire, Despair, Delirium and Destruction. When the series begins, Dream is taken prisoner. Without a ruler, his kingdom spirals into disrepair. He has to save his home – but first he has to escape. Over 75 issues, this is one of the many, many stories Gaiman tells, eventually diving headlong into a world where fantasy, mythology and history live together.
Sandman is full of possibility and dear to the hearts of many readers. Almost certainly for every fan who’s excited for the Netflix adaptation, there’s one dreading it. As history tells, it’s a difficult project to take on. But we can dream, can’t we?