Comic book adaptations are all the rage in Hollywood these days. But sometimes the wild and impressionistic style of storytelling found in more sophisticated graphic novels can be difficult to adapt into a linearly-narrated movie or TV show. One such series is Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman comics that ran for 75 issues. After years of being stuck in development hell in Hollywood, the series is getting a Netflix adaptation. Gaiman, who is serving as the show’s co-producer and co-writer, revealed during a Yahoo! interview that the adaptation will retain the original story’s horror elements.
“It will be scary. But it will be lots of other things, too, because the joy of Sandman is that it’s a lot of different things in the soup, and you can taste all the flavors.”
The Sandman comics tell the tale of Morpheus aka Sandman aka Dream, who is the physical personification of the concept of dreaming, and as such, is one of the Eternals, doomed to travel the world as long as there are sentient beings around to dream him up. While originally starting out the series as a detached, remote entity, the story slowly unfolds Dream’s innermost thoughts, longings, and desires as he deals with mortals of every type, from the pious to the perverted.
Gaiman’s series is famous for mixing mythology with fantasy and horror in a captivating and disturbing fashion, from a convention for serial killers, to a diner where the main course is a victim’s severed head. For the longest time, the general consensus was that it would be impossible to make a live-action adaptation that would do justice to The Sandman comics, but Neil Gaiman promises the upcoming series is going to come very close.
“Some [past pitches for a Sandman adaptation were] from incredibly talented people who said, ‘You can’t make this into TV!’ About 10 years ago, there was a fantastic showrunner who pitched a Sandman TV show that didn’t introduce Morpheus until the fourth episode!… [The upcoming adaptation] feels so amazingly Sandman. You won’t believe how Sandman it is.”
Of course, getting the right tone and aesthetic for the series is only half the battle. The real challenge is in finding an actor who can convincingly play the lead role of the physical embodiment of the concept of dreaming itself. There is an aura of mystique and hidden power portrayed in the comic’s artwork for the Sandman that would be virtually impossible to replicate in live-action. But Gaiman appeared confident they had found the right lead, even if he did not put a name to the actor.
“I can say we had 200-odd auditions for Morpheus before we found someone that we really liked..And then we watched another 300 or 400 auditions, but it was clear that we’d found the one person capable of saying those lines and making them actually work. So we hired him!”
Netflix series The Sandman, an adaptation of the Vertigo Comics series of the same name by Neil Gaiman, is being developed, co-written, and executive produced by Allan Heinberg, who also serves as the showrunner. Gaiman and David S. Goyer will also executive produce and co-write the series. The series has yet to receive a release date. This news originated at Yahoo.com.