Sandman Creator Neil Gaiman Teases DC Comics Characters in the Netflix Series

Superstar writer and producer Neil Gaiman is taking a wait-and-see approach to addressing how or if DC characters he did not create will appear in the Sandman TV series he is developing for Netflix. Asked on Twitter whether, for instance, John Constantine could show up, Gaiman deferred. The question of Constantine is one of the most obvious ones, since he's arguably DC's most popular supernatural character these days, but the character has also been played regularly by Matt Ryan since 2014, when he headlined a short-lived series on NBC. After its cancellation, Ryan took the character first to Arrow and then later to DC's Legends of Tomorrow, where he has remained for three seasons.

So far, there have been very few details officially revealed about Sandman. Given the nature of the series and its massive popularity, though, there are a lot of questions and a lot of theories coming out of the fan community.

You can see his tweet below.

"The two things that were occupying most of my time prior to lockdown are these big-budget streaming adaptations of both Sandman and Isaac Asimov's Foundation," writer/producer David Goyer said. "Foundation was a little further along. We filmed about 40% of the first season when we were forced to shut down, and Sandman was supposed to start shooting in May. I believe we were in the early scripting stage."

Rumor has it that British director Toby Haynes will helm episodes of The Sandman.

Earlier this year, The Sandman saw its first adaptation, as an audiobook exclusive to Audible. While the audio adaptation is virtually identical to the original comics, Gaiman has said that the Netflix TV adaptation will modernize the original story.

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"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 series is expected to head into production in the coming months, with a release likely in late 2021 or early 2022. No official dates have yet been announced.