Neil Gaiman has slowly become one of the most renowned fantasy authors on the planet. Many of his most popular books have been adapted into TV shows and movies, including American Gods, Coraline, Good Omens and Stardust, and he’s written critically acclaimed episodes of Doctor Who. But for many, his best work is still the epic DC/Vertigo comic series The Sandman.
This spanned 75 issues, was released between 1989 and 1996 and told the story of the Endless, an immortal family that personifies basic elements of reality. The protagonist is Morpheus, the Lord of Dreams, whose domestic troubles take him across history through weird dimensions and into hell itself. There’ve been many attempts to adapt The Sandman over the years, but Netflix has succeeded where others have failed.
Up until now, exact details on the project have been fairly thin on the ground, but the shoot recently got underway and Gaiman discussed the show at length in a recent interview. Among other things, he confirmed that the initial season will adapt the first comic arc, which sees Morpheus returning to his kingdom after a century sealed away by a magician.
“We started shooting about 10 days ago. I’ve been watching dailies, but nothing produced the profound, emotional reaction on me that watching a camera test of our Morpheus in his glass prison did. I saw him and said, ‘Oh, this is Sandman.”
Gaiman has also confirmed that Netflix isn’t toning down the grisly horror, saying:
“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.”
He then went on to discuss the show’s extensive audition process to find just the right cast as well, explaining:
“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!”
Right now, we don’t know who’s set to star, but if the series has already begun shooting, I expect an official announcement very soon. Aside from the person cast in the lead role, I can’t wait to find out who’s playing Death, Desire and Delirium. Beyond that, we’ll get appearances from new versions of DC characters familiar from other shows, including fresh takes on John Constantine and Lucifer.
Let’s hope for some set photos to arrive online soon and an indication of when The Sandman is hitting Netflix.