After years in development hell, a TV adaptation of DC Comics’ iconic Sandman will arrive on Netflix soon. With an absolutely killer cast and a creative team that includes original series creator Neil Gaiman, there are plenty of reasons to get excited about the show.
While we don’t have any early trailers or real insights into the show just yet, we have gotten some enticing glimpses thanks to behind-the-scenes videos, casting announcements and interviews.
Here’s everything we know about Netflix’s Sandman TV series so far.
Netflix’s Sandman: Release Date
Netflix’s Sandman adaptation does not currently have a release date. Production is expected to end in June 2021, meaning we can likely expect the show to air in late 2021 at the earliest.
The good thing about Netflix is it doesn’t tend to hype shows for too long, so it’s likely the first trailers will bring a firm release date soon (although they may not be until later in the year).
In the meantime, you can check out the latest behind-the-scenes video for a glimpse into what the show could look like:
The cast is absolutely loaded
In late May, Netflix announced the cast for Sandman — and it’s absolutely stacked with talent.
Leading the series will be Tom Sturridge (Velvet Buzzsaw, The Boat That Rocked) as Morpheus/Dream and Gwendoline Christie (Star Wars, Game of Thrones) as a female version of Lucifer Morningstar (likely to differentiate it from Netflix’s Lucifer, which won’t be connected to Sandman).
They’ll be joined by a number of incredible talents, as shown off by Netflix:
Those are some incredible names, and some inspired choices. Jenna Coleman as John Constantine’s ancestor Johanna is particularly good, as is the choice of Mason Alexander Park as the androgynous Desire.
Kirby Howell-Baptiste is also a fantastic get. Between killer roles in HBO’s Barry and Disney’s Cruella, she’s having an excellent run lately and it’ll be great to see what she brings to the role of Death.
There’s not a weak link amongst these names, so expect to see great things.
So, what is Sandman about?
The Sandman comic series follows a group of immortals known as the Endless who live in a fantastic realm called The Dreaming. From there, they manipulate the strings of reality and lord over their individual domains (Death, Dreams, Desires, Despair etc.) as they guide humans towards their destiny.
The series mostly follows Dream (also known as Morpheus), who acts as a humanoid personification of dreams.
After being captured and held prisoner at the beginning of Sandman, Dream spends much of the comic’s run attempting to put his kingdom back together, reconnecting with his ‘family’ of Endless and attempting to atone for his dark and colourful past.
It’s a beautiful (and sometimes tragic) comic that deals with metaphysical themes and the state of the world as it is.
According to reports from Rotten Tomatoes, the Netflix series will be set in the modern day, with Dream waking in 2021 and setting out to restore his kingdom, piece by piece.
The road to Sandman hasn’t been easy
Sandman is a phenomenal comic series, and there’s been interest in a TV or film adaptation for more than a decade. Warner Bros. reportedly optioned the film as far back as the late 1990s but no news surfaced until 2007 when creator Neil Gaiman stated that the time for a ‘good’ Sandman movie was coming.
In 2013, David Goyer announced he was working on a new adaptation of the story, with Joseph Gordon-Levitt attached to star as Dream/Morpheus and serve as a producer — but this failed to materialise. After years of development and various drop-outs (including Gordon-Levitt), the writer of the film finally dropped it with the pronouncement that it should be a TV show, not a film.
Gaiman has repeatedly stated he would only let Sandman be made if the adaptation was good, so it’s fair to assume Netflix’s version is strongly aligned with his vision for the series. While it’s too early to say whether it’ll match the grandeur and spectacle of the comic, Gaiman’s support is key.
It feels like a miracle we’re getting it at all, but we should be very thankful we are.
However it turns out, Netflix’s Sandman should be an interesting ride.
Netflix’s Sandman does not currently have a release date, but you can stay tuned to Gizmodo Australia for all the latest news on the show.