UPDATE (7/1/2019): After years in development hell, Sandman is finally heading to live action. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Sandman co-creator Neil Gaiman is bringing his beloved creation to Netflix with a massive financial commitment from the streaming giant.
Yes, Netflix is officially making all your Sandman dreams come true:
Gaiman will serve as an executive producer and writer for the series, described as the most expensive ever produced by DC Entertainment, alongside David Goyer, who was previously attached to a Sandman movie adaptation at New Line Cinema. Allan Heinberg (Wonder Woman) will serve as writer and showrunner on the 10-episode commitment produced by Warner Bros. Television.
“We’re thrilled to partner with the brilliant team that is Neil Gaiman, David S. Goyer and Allan Heinberg to finally bring Neil’s iconic comic book series, ‘The Sandman,’ to life onscreen,” said Channing Dungey, vice president of original series at Netflix (via Variety). “From its rich characters and storylines to its intricately built-out worlds, we’re excited to create an epic original series that dives deep into this multi-layered universe beloved by fans around the world.”
Gaiman, who created the concept and served as the series’ sole writer while working with a revolving team of artists throughout its seven-year run, launched The Sandman at DC Comics in 1989, and the series was eventually folded into the prestigious Vertigo label when it was launched in 1993.
The series tells the story of Morpheus, the Lord of Dreams, and begins as he breaks out of magical captivity after decades of imprisonment and begins searching for the lost relics of his power. The series’ mythology spans human history and also includes the creation of the Endless, a group of ancient beings who are the living embodies of Dream, Death, Destiny, Desire, Despair, Delirium, and Destruction. It ran 75 issues in its initial run, and has since spawned numerous spinoffs, including the recent launch of DC’s Sandman Universe.
The Sandman is one of the most acclaimed and beloved comics of its era, and is often recommended for non-comics readers as a way of breaking into the medium. Because of its massive crossover appeal, efforts to adapt the series to film date back to the 1990s. The most recent version was in development at New Line, and originally involved Joseph Gordon-Levitt as both director and star. Gordon-Levitt left the project in 2016, and the film eventually seemed to fade.
Gaiman’s star has been on the rise in the live-action television world lately, though, thanks to the success of his Starz series American Gods and his adaptation of Good Omens at Amazon. Gaiman even expressed hope as American Gods caught hold in the TV world that its success would eventually lead to similar success for Sandman, and now it seems he was prophetic in that regard. According to THR, Warner Bros. took the potential series to various premium cable outlets, including HBO, but Netflix was the one willing to foot the massive bill for the series.
There’s no word yet on when Sandman might actually make it to the screen, but our live-action hopes have been revived, and the series of our dreams might soon be here.