Neil Gaiman Explains How Sandman's First Season Will Play Out

The first season of Netflix's The Sandman will adapt the first trade paperback collection from [...]

The first season of Netflix's The Sandman will adapt the first trade paperback collection from Neil Gaiman's game-changing series, "and a little bit more," according to Gaiman, who is working with Netflix to develop the series. Arguably the most acclaimed long-form series in comics history, The Sandman made Gaiman a household name in comics circles and elevated DC's Vertigo imprint to the top of the industry. In the years since the series concluded, it has been an evergreen hit in the bookstore market, spawned numerous spinoffs and one-shots, crossed over with the DC superhero universe once in a while, and has been in and out of development hell as a feature film or TV series for about 20 years.

Earlier today, Netflix announced that they were not only interested in, but actively developing, a TV series with Gaiman and executive producers David S. Goyer (The Dark Knight, Krypton) and Allan Heinberg (Wonder Woman, Grey's Anatomy). At the time, fans wondered what form the series might take, with some -- including screenwriter Zack Stentz -- wondering whether Preludes and Nocturnes might be more or less skipped in favor of the more acclaimed Sandman material from later in the run. It turns out, no. The decision to take 11 episodes to tackle the worldbuilding and set the stage for a presumptive second season and an adaptation of A Doll's House is interesting in that it could suggest that Warner Bros. TV and Netflix have a long-term plan in place.

While Netflix and other streaming services have earned the reputation for buying a lot of series and then cancelling most of them early, the idea of taking a full season to adapt one book in the 10-volume Sandman series could suggest that the plan is to be more or less open-ended with the show.

"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," Channing Dungey, VP, Original Series, Netflix, shared in a statement. "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."

Netflix describes the series, "A rich blend of modern myth and dark fantasy in which contemporary fiction, historical drama, and legend are seamlessly interwoven, The Sandman follows the people and places affected by Morpheus, the Dream King, as he mends the cosmic--and human--mistakes he's made during his vast existence."

Gaiman and Goyer will co-write the first episode with Allan Heinberg, who will serve as the series' showrunner.

The Sandman marks only the latest chapter in the growing trend of studios turning to comic books to develop into TV series, in addition to Gaiman being a hot trend for shows, thanks to the success of American Gods and Good Omens, both based on his works.

The new series is set to pay off on fans' wishes for the character to be brought into live action, with Gaiman's involvement making the prospect even more exciting. The author has previously revealed how protective he is of the property and that his focus would be to deliver a quality project.

"I'd rather see no Sandman movie made than a bad Sandman movie." Gaiman shared at a 2007 Comic-Con panel. "But I feel like the time for a Sandman movie is coming soon. We need someone who has the same obsession with the source material as Peter Jackson had with Lord of the Rings or Sam Raimi had with Spider-Man."

Stay tuned for details on The Sandman.

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