Netflix's adaptation of Neil Gaiman's The Sandman is slowly beginning to take shape, with reports indicating that the show has landed its first director. Reportedly, Netflix has signed British director Toby Haynes to direct The Sandman, though currently there has been no confirmation regarding how many episodes this would be.

Hayne's back catalogue is comprised of a striking amount of well-regarded genre television, including Doctor Who, Sherlock, Black Mirror, and Being Human. The director is also on board to direct the upcoming remake of the British television series Utopia, starring John Cusack. The inclusion of Toby Haynes would certainly be a win for The Sandman, with his previous works clearly demonstrating his ability to handle the kind of dark, contemporary themes of Neil Gaiman's story.

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Over the last few decades there have been several failed attempts to adapt Neil Gaiman's seminal The Sandman comic book series to live-action. Thankfully, the author is now confident that things will finally fall into place on Netflix in the very near future. Gaiman has discussed the upcoming adaptation recently, suggesting that their approach to the story will change slightly all these years later, hinting that certain characters will likely look different once they finally make their live-action debut.

"But the idea is that we tell the whole thing," he 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?'"

Gaiman has also reasoned that now is the time to bring his creation to life on screen thanks to special effects now being advanced enough to fully realise the fantastical world of The Sandman convincingly saying, "And they never worked because of all the special effects and what would be needed to do the special effects. They never worked because you were making something that was adult.

People would write Sandman movie scripts, and they go, 'But it's an R-rated movie, and we can't have $100 million R-rated movies.' So, that wouldn't happen. You needed to get to a world in which long-form storytelling is an advantage rather than a disadvantage. And the fact that we have seventy-five issues of Sandman plus -- essentially, 13 full books -- worth of material, is a really good thing. It's not a drawback. It's on our side. And the fact that we're in a world in which we can take things that only existed in comic book art, and that can now exist in reality."

The Sandman originally ran for 75 issues from 1989-1996 and 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 stories, how important they are, and how they can evolve, and how Morpheus, the Lord of Dreams, is captured and subsequently learns that sometimes change is inevitable.

Before coming to live-action, The Sandman recently received its first adaptation as an audiobook exclusive to Audible. The adaptation for Netflix is currently in production, with filming planned to begin in the fall, however no release date has yet been scheduled. This news comes to us courtesy of The Illuminerdi.

Jon Fuge at Movieweb
Jon Fuge