Netflix's live-action take on Neil Gaiman's The Sandman is close to signing on British actor Tom Sturridge as the lead character Dream, just weeks before shooting begins on the series. Reportedly, Sturridge auditioned for the role earlier in the year and beat out Poldark's Tom York and Merlin's Colin Morgan.

Tom Sturridge is best known for roles in the 2012 romantic drama On the Road, the 2015 adaptation of Far from the Madding Crowd, the 2009 comedy The Boat That Rocked, and last year's bizarre horror-comedy Velvet Buzzsaw in which he starred alongside Jake Gyllenhaal.

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The upcoming series is based on the seminal Neil Gaiman graphic novel The Sandman, which originally ran for 75 issues from 1989-1996. The story of The Sandman follows the main character Dream, also known as Morpheus among other names, a conceptual entity struggling with his place in the universe. He is one of the seven Endless, with the other Endless being Destiny, Death, Desire, Despair, Delirium, formerly Delight, and Destruction. The Sandman is a story about the power of stories and how they can evolve, and how Morpheus, the Lord of Dreams, is captured and subsequently learns that change is often inevitable.

According to Netflix, The Sandman will be "a rich blend of modern myth and dark fantasy in which contemporary fiction, historical drama, and legend are seamlessly interwoven, The Sandman follows the people and places affected by Morpheus, the Dream King, as he mends the cosmic-and human-mistakes he's made during his vast existence."

Netflix and DC Comics announced the adaptation of the beloved comic book series back in July 2019. Neil Gaiman is on board as an executive producer on the show alongside David S. Goyer, with the pair also co-writing the series along with Wonder Woman writer Allan Heinberg. Earlier this year the series added Black Mirror cinematographer George Steel, and Black Mirror and Sherlock director Toby Haynes to the promising roster. The first season will consist of 11 episodes and will cover the first Sandman graphic novel, Preludes & Nocturnes.

Studios have been trying to bring the world of The Sandman to life for decades, but Gaiman is confident that things have finally fallen into place on Netflix. Gaiman has previously discussed the upcoming adaptation, suggesting the series will approach the story with fresh eyes and address certain changes suitable for the modern era. The author has even hinted that certain characters will likely look different once they finally make their debut on the small screen.

"But the idea is that we tell the whole thing," Gaiman said earlier this year, "We also get to do something that I think is kind of special, which is treat it as an audiobook, because doing the Netflix TV series, we're very much looking at that as going, 'Okay, it is 2020, let's say that I was doing Sandman starting in 2020, what would we do? How would we change things? What gender would this character be? Who would this person be? What would be happening?'"

No premiere date for The Sandman has yet been announced by Netflix. This news comes to us courtesy of Collider.

Jon Fuge at Movieweb
Jon Fuge