Neil Gaiman Shares Some Early Details On The Upcoming Sandman TV Series

Mr. Sandman, send me a Netflix series... (Illustration: Vertigo Comics/Sam Keith)

With a long-awaited TV adaptation of Good Omens under his belt, Neil Gaiman is ready to start divulging information on his next big TV project, and the one in which he seems to be most intimately involved—Netflix’s adaptation of Sandman.

It’s not the first time someone has tried to adapt Sandman—adaptations have tried and failed to get the project off the ground since 1991, Gaiman revealed in a recent conversation on the CBC program Day 6. That earliest one, Gaimain himself vetoed.

“I said, ‘Please don’t. I’m writing the comic. If there was a movie right now it would just screw everything up,’” Gaiman explained.

But now that the series is being adapted, he’s taking a major creative presence as an executive producer and writer on the series, alongside names like David Goyer and showrunner Allan Heinburg. While at Day 6, he explained that some changes would be made to the source material for TV. For one thing, they’re going to modernise it.

“The idea is to stay faithful to Sandman, but to do it for now rather than making it a 1980s period piece,” he said, continuing by explaining that, rather than reflecting the time period in which it was written, this version of Sandman will reflect now.

“In Sandman [issue] number one, there is a sleeping sickness that occurs because Morpheus, the Lord of Dreams, is captured ... in 1916, and in 1988 he escapes,” Gaiman said. “Instead of him being a captive for about 80 years, he’s going to be a captive for about 110 years and that will change things.”

Precisely what things are unclear, but the protagonist—Morpheus himself—seems to be mostly the same character fans of the comics know.

“He’s a gloomy sort of bugger,” Gaimain said. “He’s not quite human, but he does have absolute standards and responsibilities and tries to fulfil his moral obligations even if his standards are not human.”

In the interview, he also called Morpheus a “complete screw-up.”

Gaiman also offered one specific question about the character, who has no attached actor at this time. Would Morpheus’s look evolve and change over time, the way it does in the books? “Yes,” he said. It certainly will.

Details on Sandman’s release are scant right now, but we know it’ll be coming to Netflix. 

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