After decades of failed attempts to adapt Neil Gaiman's seminal The Sandman comic book series to live-action, the author is now confident that things will finally fall into place on Netflix in the very near future. Gaiman has been discussing the upcoming adaptation, suggesting their approach to the story all these years later, and hinting that certain characters will likely look different once they finally make their small screen appearance.
"But the idea is that we tell the whole thing. 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?'"
So, it sounds like Neil Gaiman will be following the example set by the likes of The Walking Dead and The Boys and change the gender of certain characters as he approaches the material with a fresh set of eyes for the modern era.
No doubt Gaiman has put a lot of thought into the eventual live-action series, with studios trying to bring the popular comic book property to life for years. Things are different now though, with Gaiman optimistic that Netflix is the right platform for The Sandman. "For Netflix right now, people have tried making some movies and TV adaptations for 30 years, and actively tried making them for 25 years, and they've never worked," Gaiman said.
He also reasoned that special effects are now advanced enough to bring the fantastical world of The Sandman to life 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."
With the world of television, streaming and long-running series more popular than ever, now is the perfect time to finally show audiences The Sandman in the way that Gaiman clearly wants.
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.