Neil Gaiman’s reputation has long been well established. The Hampshire author has earned a place of worship in the world of comics and literature. One of its key titles is, of course: The Sandman , a series of comics published by Vertigo between 1989 and 1996.
The Sandman is made up of 75 issues, although special issues and additional volumes have been published in times subsequent to its regular publication. The truth is that it is a work that since then has cultivated a large audience and has wanted to bring it to the screen countless times. However, it seems that this will finally be a reality, since Gaiman is working on the series adaptation for Netflix.
In June 2019 it was announced that The Sandman would be adapted as a series and that it would be done by the hand of Neil Gaiman himself. Additionally, it was announced that Allan Heingerg ( Wonder Woman and Grey’s Anatomy ) would be the showrunner , while Gaiman would be a writer and executive producer.
The day Gaiman asked not to adapt ‘The Sandman’
As we said above, the attempt to adapt Gaiman’s mythical comics has always been present since this fantastic story mixed with classic mythology and horror was published. But on one occasion it was the author himself who asked not to make an adaptation of his work .
In 1990, Neilg Gaiman is said to have gone to Warner Bros. , the studio that owns the work, and asked not to adapt The Sandman . According to the anecdote , the author asked Lisa Henson, executive of the studies. At Gaiman’s surprising request, she replied: “No one had ever come to my office to ask for something like that.” And it is that by then the publication had only just begun, so for Gaiman it was important to work on her story without the pressure of an adaptation of it. However, things have changed and the adaptation for Netflix is already underway. Of course, getting here involved a long way.
An “impossible” adaptation
If since 1990 attempts to make adaptations of The Sandman were already a reality, over time things were no different, especially since the title became an obligatory reference in the world of literature. Neil Gaiman explained that, on several occasions, he saw proposals for scripts to adapt said work, however, he found a problem: the budget. And it is that, as the author himself recalls, it is a title that would be classified for adults (R-rated) and nobody would be willing to finance a film with 100 million dollars with that classification. The accounts simply did not come out, at least not in decades prior to the current one.
A further attempt to adapt The Sandman , but which was eventually canceled, was attended by Joseph Gordon Levitt and Oscar-winning screenwriter Eric Heisserer. The famous “creative differences” caused both to abandon the project. But in 2019, thirty years after the appearance of the Gaiman comic, this ambitious project finally began to materialize .
Of course, The Sandman will not only be a series for Netflix, it was also adapted as an audiobook for Audible . It will have a spectacular cast: Taron Egerton, James McAvoy, Michael Sheen, Samantha Morton and Gaiman himself as the narrator. This will be published on July 15, 2020.
Production stops (momentarily)
For the series that Netflix prepares we will have to wait a little longer. Gaiman recently stated that the series is going well, that the first season will have 11 episodes and will be based on the Preludes and Nocturnal arc . Only that adaptation was affected by sanitary measures due to the pandemic. The author stated in this regard :
It’s going great, except it’s hibernating right now until people start making television again. The scripts for the first season are written, the casting has started, the directors have been hired, the sets are being built. Everything was ready to go into production, and then we paused. As soon as the world is ready to make a television drama, ‘Sandman’ will move to re-occur. In the meantime, we are taking the opportunity to make the scripts as good as we can.
Neil Gaiman’s big hit on television
Finally, we must not forget that other titles by the British author have had wonderful adaptations for television. One of them is made by Starz: American Gods and Amazon Studios : Good Omens , starring Michael Sheen and David Tennant. There is no release date for The Sandman , nor news of the signing that Gaiman claims has already been made. Either way we will be attentive. Meanwhile, we can enjoy the audiobook. Here the trailer: