Netflix has released a new image from The Sadman that presents a fresh look at Tom Sturridge as Dream (now with clothing) and the first look at Lucienne (Lucien in the original comic), The Dreaming's librarian, played by Vivienne Acheampong. While fans are still awaiting a proper trailer, Netflix previously released a first look at its long-anticipated Sandman series, adapting Neil Gaiman's beloved comic book series, which debuts later this year. Netflix released the image via Empire, which also spoke to Gaiman about how the television adaptation of The Sandman juggles the comics' dips into different genres.
"You watch Episode 1 and think, 'Oh, I get this thing: it's like Downton Abbey, but with magic,'" Gaiman says. "Then you'll be wondering, 'What the hell is this?' by Episode 2, when you're meeting Gregory The Gargoyle in The Dreaming. Episode 5 is about as dark and traumatic as anything is ever gonna get, then you've got Episode 6, which is probably the most feel-good of all the episodes."
Gaiman continues, noting how this approach differentiates The Sandman from other modern prestige and streaming television. "If you didn't like an episode of Game Of Thrones, you probably won't like any other episode of Game Of Thrones," he says. "With Sandman, it's all about surprising you. It's all about reinventing itself. It's all about taking you on a journey you've not been on before."
In 2020, Gaiman spoke to ComicBook.com and other press about updating The Sandman for modern television viewers. "Doing the Netflix TV series, we're very much looking at that as going, 'Okay, it is 2020, let's say that I was doing Sandman starting in 2020, what would we do? How would we change things? What gender would this character be? Who would this person be? What would be happening?'" Gaiman said. "For Netflix right now, people have tried making some movies and TV adaptations for 30 years, and actively tried making them for 25 years, and they've never worked. And they never worked because of all the special effects and what would be needed to do the special effects. They never worked because you were making something that was adult. People would write Sandman movie scripts, and they go, 'But it's an R-rated movie, and we can't have $100 million R-rated movies.' So, that wouldn't happen. You needed to get to a world in which long-form storytelling is an advantage rather than a disadvantage. And the fact that we have seventy-five issues of Sandman plus -- essentially, 13 full books -- worth of material, is a really good thing. It's not a drawback. It's on our side. And the fact that we're in a world in which we can take things that only existed in comic book art, and that can now exist in reality."
The Sandman's cast also includes Gwendoline Christie as Lucifer, Boyd Holbrook as The Corinthian, Charles Dance as Roderick Burgess, Asim Chaudry as Abel, Sanjeev Bhaskar as Cain, Kirby Howell-Baptiste as Death, and Stephen Fry as Gilbert. The Sandman will debut on Netflix in 2022.