David S. Goyer stated at San Diego Comic-Con that Netflix's The Sandman adaptation aims to begin filming in the fall, and it looks like those plans are coming to fruition. The Sandman co-creator Neil Gaiman revealed today via Twitter that the television adaptation will begin production in three weeks, putting the start date in mid-October. "It's starting to feel real. We begin shooting in 3 weeks, lockdowns permitting," Gaiman tweeted with a photo of the first episode's script, embedded below. Goyer said during his Comic-Con panel that The Sandman would have started filming already if not for the coronavirus pandemic.
"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," 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. It is unclear if Haynes' new job directing Disney+'s Rogue One prequel will interfere with those plans.
Before coming to live-action, The Sandman saw its first adaptation as an audiobook exclusive to Audible. Gaiman says that where the audio adaptation is unwaveringly faithful to the original comics, the Netflix adaptation will modernize the original story.
"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.
He continued, "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."