Locke & Key Creators Don’t Want A Crossover With The Sandman

Locke & Key

Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman is one of the most beloved comics of all time. Published between 1988 and 1996, it has been collected into ten trade paperbacks that continue to sell incredibly well. Ever since the comic concluded there have been rumblings of a live-action adaptation, though nothing ever came to pass. Until Netflix stepped in anyway.

The first season is now in the can, with Tom Sturridge as Dream and Gaiman playing a major role in ensuring they remain faithful to the books. One interesting factor is that Netflix stablemate Locke & Key featured a crossover with The Sandman in the comics. Could the same happen here?

In a recent interview with CBR, Locke & Key creators Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez poured cold water on the idea, though refused to dismiss it completely. Hill said:

You never say never but, as a Sandman fan, my feeling is that I want to see Neil Gaiman’s Sandman stories. That’s what everyone wants, so my instinct is no. The two have had this nice moment where they got to hold hands in the comic books…We had so much fun with it and, if DC and Neil certainly seem willing, it’s always possible that there might be another Locke & Key story in the comics that explores some of the outer corners of the Sandman Universe.

He continued by explaining that the best-case scenario would be to have the two universes co-exist rather than directly crossing over:

Specifically, I would like to do another story, if for any other reason, to explain why the two universes overlapped in the 1920s but don’t by the time we get to Kinsey, Tyler, and Bode because Kinsey, Tyler, and Bode do not exist in a universe with Batman and Superman. But it is clear that Roderick Burgess is in a universe with Superman and Batman. There’s a story in my head that explains why those two universes split apart and we need to do another Mary Locke story to tell that.

This touches on a facet of Netflix’s The Sandman I’m very interested to see how they tackle. For the most part, The Sandman is its own story, though it still takes place in the DC Universe and features multiple superheroes and villains (including Batman and Superman).

Right now, it seems as if Gaiman is planning to tone down these elements, meaning the Martian Manhunter is unlikely to appear in the first season as he did in the book. In an interview last month, he said:

“As Sandman went along it seemed to naturally to drift away from the DC Universe into one that looked a lot more like ours. Making Sandman for Netflix is a chance to do it again, and to do it with the economy of not needing to exist in a shared universe in the same way.”

All this is probably for the best, as The Sandman stories stand on their own quite beautifully without crossing over with Locke & Key or anything else. Saying that, we know we’re getting a unique take on John Constantine, so there will be some DC characters present.

The Sandman will air on Netflix in 2022, though if you’ve got an itch for the franchise you should check out the excellent audiobooks on Audible.