As Netflix continues its expansion into Original content, tapping into the comic book market has definitely become a target of theirs. The next title being adapted from comic book to the small screen is Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman. Here’s what we know so far.
Recently it’s been reported by Deadline that Netflix and Warner Bros. TV had held talks to discuss the future of Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman. The popular Vertigo comic book title has been “stuck in development limbo for decades” but Netflix will be the one to finally pull the trigger for an adaptation. Allan Heinberg who previously worked on Wonder Woman and Grey’s Anatomy will be both writer and showrunner for the series. Creator of The Sandman, Neil Gaiman would serve as an executive producer with David S. Goyer.
Previously Netflix declined to make a comment on the deal but it didn’t take long before the official announcement was made.
What is The Sandman?
The Sandman is an American comic book series created by Neil Gaiman. One of the few comic book titles to become a New York Times bestseller, The Sandman series was the flagship title for Vertigo comics. Neil Gaiman’s writing is famous for his take on Mythology and his use of anthropomorphic personification of metaphysical entities. Some of Gaiman’s most recent and most popular work are titles such as Starz’ American Gods, Good Omens on Amazon Prime and Lucifer on Netflix.
The story of The Sandman revolves around the character Dream, one of the Seven Endless. Dream, along with the other ‘Endless’ are billions of years old and each represents an embodiment of a natural force. Dream, also known as Morpheus along with a whole heap of other names and titles acquired over the Billions of years is the anthropomorphic personification of dreams. Morpheus resides in his realm “The Dreaming” where he has complete and utter control but struggles to adapt to change (a common theme recurring throughout the series).
At the beginning of the story, Morpheus is summoned by occult ritual but is captured and held prisoner for 70 years. Eventually escaping, Morpheus would reap his vengeance upon his captors and would return to his realm. During Morpheus’ absence, his realm had fallen into a state of disrepair and would set about rebuilding it. While captive, Morpheus had time to reflect on his past but the challenge of undoing past sins would be an enormous undertaking that’s billions of years old and set in his ways.
Has Warner already tried to adapt the movie?
Previously a large selection of titles by Vertigo had been selected to go to New Line Cinema. The Sandman being one of these titles was to be adapted into a film. Taking on the role of director and starring in the film was Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Unfortunately, due to creative differences, Gordon-Levitt would leave the project and the film went back into limbo.
So when would The Sandman come to Netflix?
Even with the deal confirmed it’s hard to say when the series would land on Netflix. Pre-production is a lengthy process that involves the development of such things like writing the script and hiring the cast and crew. Even if the pre-production process is a smooth transition into production, filming likely won’t begin until 2020. With filming and the post-production process, that in of itself could take up to a year to produce.
Best case scenario The Sandman will be coming to Netflix towards the very end of 2020. The most likely release date would be Spring or Summer of 2021.
How much of The Sandman will be covered in the first season?
Neil Gaiman himself confirmed the number of episodes the first season will debut:
The first season will be eleven episodes. That’s the start of it all. Preludes and Nocturnes and a little bit more. https://t.co/tOlfJ1kS1y
— Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself) July 2, 2019
Preludes and Nocturnes is the first volume of The Sandman and covers issues #1-8. With the first season set to cover the first volume and some of volume 2 (The Doll’s House), there are loads to look forward to.
The Sandman has ten volumes in total (75 issues) so this means Netflix has the potential to produce of least 4 seasons.
Could Lucifer make an appearance?
Both The Sandman and Lucifer reside in the world of DC Comics. While both characters are lesser known for being DC characters, they have made cameo appearances every now and again. The best example is Lucifer making an appearance in Preludes of Nocturnes (Issues #1-8 of The Sandman). Lucifer would make another appearance later on in The Sandman’s run during The Kindly Ones in issues #57-69.
With bother characters owned by Warner Bros. TV alongside the fact that both shows would be Netflix Originals, there is definitely a chance that Tom Ellis could reprise his role once again as the Sovereign of Hell.
What about other DC characters?
Throughout the run of The Sandman other popular DC characters have made cameo appearances. Batman is definitely the most high profile character that has had a cameo, followed by Green Lantern and Martian Manhunter. It’s highly doubtful any of those heroes will be making an appearance.
Lesser known characters such as Black Spider, Doctor Occult and Mister Miracle could make an appearance.
Are you looking forward to seeing The Sandman on Netflix? Let us know in the comments below!