As Netflix continues its expansion into Original content, tapping into the comic book market has definitely become a target of theirs. With such titles from Millarverse to look forward to, this time Netflix is looking to Vertigo comics’ The Sandman. Here’s everything we know so far on the first season of The Sandman.
In July 2019, it was reported by Deadline that Netflix and Warner Bros. TV had held talks to discuss the future of Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman. With confirmation that Netflix has successfully picked up the series, this brought the title out of development limbo that it had been in for over a decade.
The adaptation will be handled by Allan Heinberg who previously worked on Wonder Woman and Grey’s Anatomy will serve as both writer and showrunner of The Sandman. Creator of The Sandman, Neil Gaiman will serve as an executive producer alongside David S. Goyer.
When is The Sandman season one coming to Netflix?
In an interview with Digital Spy, Neil Gaiman confirmed that the series will be arriving at some point in 2021. Given the production delays (see below) we’re currently expecting the latter half of 2021.
What is The Sandman?
The Sandman is an American comic book series created by Neil Gaiman. One of the few comic book titles to become a New York Times bestseller, The Sandman series was the flagship title for Vertigo comics. Neil Gaiman’s writing is famous for his take on mythology and his use of anthropomorphic personification of metaphysical entities. Some of Gaiman’s most recent and most popular works are titles such as Starz’ American Gods, Good Omens on Amazon Prime, and Lucifer on Netflix.
The story of the Sandman revolves around the character Dream, one of the Seven Endless. Dream, along with the other ‘Endless’ are billions of years old and each represents an embodiment of a natural force. Dream, also known as Morpheus along with a whole heap of other names and titles acquired over billions of years, is the anthropomorphic personification of dreams. Morpheus resides in his realm “The Dreaming” where he has complete and utter control but struggles to adapt to change (a common theme recurring throughout the series).
At the beginning of the story, Morpheus is summoned by occult ritual but is captured and held prisoner for 70 years. Eventually escaping, Morpheus would reap his vengeance upon his captors and would return to his realm. During Morpheus’ absence, his realm had fallen into a state of disrepair and would set about rebuilding it. While captive, Morpheus had time to reflect on his past but the challenge of undoing past sins would be an enormous undertaking that’s billions of years old and set in his ways.
Who are the cast members of The Sandman?
Neil Gaiman has confirmed that the series doesn’t have a cast yet, but thanks to Daniel Richtman from his Patreon we’ve recently learned of the roles that Netflix will be hoping to fill.
The Sandman / Morpheus / Dream
Required: Lead Male (Age: 26-36)
“The titular Sandman. Lord of Dreams and keeper of the realm of the Dreaming. Late 20s/early 30s. Ghostly, rail-thin. Because dreams are the inspiration for all life and creation, Morpheus sees governing them as a grave responsibility. He is an honorable, principled being, but he can be a bit obsessive about his duties and is ruthless when displeased. Dream’s obsessiveness can leave him out of touch with humanity, as he sees human beings as mere engines for dreams. An arrogant god who eventually learns that he must change or die.”
Required: Lead Male (Age: 26-36)
“Supernaturally handsome, The Corinthian exudes style, sex, wit, and a predatory wrongness. A nightmare-come-to-life, but one you can’t keep your eyes off. Embodies humanity’s darkest, most sadistic, homicidal impulses when they are not bound by compassion, empathy, and love.
Originally created by Dream, The Corinthian is determined to thwart his maker at every turn.”
Required: Recurring Female (Age: 18-28)
“A street-smart woman who masterfully leverages her beauty to manipulate men and get what she wants. A self-survival expert who knows when to flatter, barter, or steal based on what best suits her interests. Fascinated by magic & the power it holds, the pursuit of the occult sets Ethel on an unexpected and not necessarily auspicious path.”
Required: Recurring Male (Age: 16-26)
“Bookish yet handsome, Alex is eager to please his tyrannical father, but does not possess his cult of personality. A self-conscious young man who is questioning his sexuality. Alex represses thinking about what he wants for his own life in order to continue to serve his family’s legacy.”
Potential Cast Member: TBA
Required: Recurring Female (Age: 18-25)
“Dream’s older sister. Optimistic, caring, and empathetic, Death takes her job seriously and tries to be a friend to those she shepherds to the afterlife. She’s every bit the big sister towards Dream, acting as his occasional confidante and unafraid to point out his foibles.”
Required: Recurring Female (Age: 30-35)
“Beautiful but tough as nails, Anna is not afraid to tussle with criminals and psychopaths while wearing Louboutins. She doesn’t take shit from anyone. Anna has a history of keeping herself at arm’s length from people who could grow to love her, She is mouthy and self-destructive, yet fiercely brave.”
Required: Guest Star Male (Age: 50-65)
“Roderick Burgess is a self-proclaimed sorcerer & prophet. He is the founder of the Order of Ancient Mysteries, which promises self-actualization through the occult – for a price. In truth there is nothing magical about Roderick. He’s a fraud – but an energetic, intensely charismatic one. A narcissist, he relishes encounters with much younger women and the accumulation of wealth and treasure. Wounded by the untimely loss of his eldest son, Roderick treats his youngest son, Alex, with cruelty and disregard.”
How much of The Sandman will be covered in the first season?
Neil Gaiman himself has promised fans that The Sandman adaptation will be faithful to the comics.
Preludes and Nocturnes is the first volume of The Sandman and covers issues #1-8. With the first season set to cover the first volume and some of volume two (The Doll’s House), there are loads to look forward to.
At the DC Fandome event, though, Neil Gaiman confirmed that the story will not start in the 1980s instead it will start in the modern day for the Netflix series.
The Sandman has ten volumes in total (75 issues) so this means Netflix has the potential to produce at least 4 seasons.
Could Lucifer make an appearance?
Both The Sandman and Lucifer reside in the world of DC Comics. While both characters are lesser known for being DC characters, they have made cameo appearances every now and again.
The best example is Lucifer making an appearance in Preludes of Nocturnes (Issues #1-8 of The Sandman). Lucifer made another appearance later on in The Sandman‘s run during The Kindly Ones in issues #57-69.
The possibility of a cross-over dramatically increased when Neil Gaiman confirmed that the Netflix would series would be set in the modern-day (see above).
What about other DC characters?
Throughout the run of The Sandman other popular DC characters have made cameo appearances. Batman is definitely the most high profile character that has had a cameo, followed by Green Lantern and Martian Manhunter. It’s highly doubtful any of those heroes will be making an appearance.
Lesser-known characters such as Black Spider, Doctor Occult and Mister Miracle could make an appearance assuming Warner Brothers allows it.
Was Lucifer cancelled because of Sandman?
A small portion of the Lucifer fandom believed that Lucifer has been cancelled in favour of The Sandman. Neil Gaiman took to Twitter to directly deal with the issue when asked by a fan:
Hello Mr @neilhimself ,
Some Lucifans believe you are the reason why Netflix ends #Lucifer , to promote Sandman instead. But Lucifer comes from you too!
Please, tell me it is not true, or, if it is, that it is Netflix’s decision and not yours.
— Camille – Do not spoil me, Devil, Devil (@camille_bourg) January 28, 2020
What is the production status of The Sandman?
Current Production Status: Pre-production (Last Updated: 07/20/2020)
In the aforementioned interview with Digital Spy, Neil Gaiman confirmed that shooting was supposed to begin at the end of May 2020.
“We’re working with Netflix, we were meant to start shooting at the end of May.
Given this COVID world, everything is on pause.”
Neil Gaiman has already made it clear that once the production of other series begins so too will The Sandman.
On his blog on Tumblr Gaiman had the following to say:
“It’s going really well, except it’s kind of hibernating right now until people start making TV again. The scripts for the first season are written, casting had started, directors hired, sets were being built. Everything was ready to go into production, and then we moved into a pause. As soon as the world is ready to make TV drama, Sandman will move smoothly back into being made. In the meantime, we are taking the opportunity to get the scripts as good as we can.”
In September 2020, The Illuminerdi reported that they had bought on Doctor Who direct David Hayes into the production but this was quickly swatted down by Neil.
Much as we love Toby Haynes, and would be thrilled to work with him on Sandman, this isn't actually Real News, I'm afraid, and isn't true. https://t.co/xuXuY8sxiF
— Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself) August 3, 2020
How many episodes will The Sandman season one air?
Neil Gaiman himself confirmed the number of episodes the first season will debut with that being 11 episodes.
The first season will be eleven episodes. That’s the start of it all. Preludes and Nocturnes and a little bit more. https://t.co/tOlfJ1kS1y
— Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself) July 2, 2019
Other The Sandman news relating to Netflix or otherwise
- In July 2020, an audiobook adaptation was released to the world to rave reviews.
- In September 2020, Netflix put up an official page for the show on Netflix which doesn’t reveal much but does allow you to set a reminder when it does eventually come out.
Reminder set! Not that I'm gonna need reminding ⌛️@neilhimself
— The Sandman | TV Series (Fan acc) (@Sandman_Netflix) September 14, 2020
Are you looking forward to seeing The Sandman on Netflix? Let us know in the comments below!