The Sandman is coming to TV, but the complex series will not be simplifying its content for the medium, according to Neil Gaiman. The best-selling author, who wrote the comic book series on which the show is based and serves as a writer, producer, and advisor on the Netflix series, has been more vocal about the Sandman adaptation in its early stages than he was at similar points in the development of projects like Lucifer and American Gods. It seems likely that Netflix has a handle on just how closely associated Gaiman's voice is with the comic's success -- and that both by remaining true to the source material and by making Gaiman the public face of the show, they can reassure fans.
For his part, Gaiman talked about the challenges of bringing the project to life over the years. He said that he has long maintained he would rather not adapt Sandman at all than have a bad adaptation out there, and that some of the previous efforts would have fallen into the "bad adaptation" category.
"The joy for doing it as a Netflix series is we aren't in the place where we're throwing things out," Gaiman told the Radio Times (via Bleeding Cool). "In fact, it's the other way round. Sometimes that means that a lot more stuff gets to happen because we have room for it. But we're never throwing things out, and we're never abandoning things. And that, in itself, is a complete joy."
Sandman has had a long road in being adapted for both the big and small screen with various filmmakers and writers attached at different points in time including Pulp Fiction's Roger Avary, Arrival's Eric Heisserer, and even Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
Netflix describes the series as follows: "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 will produce the series along with Allan Heinberg of Wonder Woman fame, who will serve as showrunner, and Man of Steel and Krypton veteran David S. Goyer. Gaiman and Goyer will co-write the first episode with Allan Heinberg. A number of other Gaiman projects, including Good Omens, based on a novel he co-wrote with the late Terry Pratchett, have recently made their way to the screen.
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