Netflix's The Sandman adaptation is aiming to begin filming in the fall, and it may have landed its first director. According to The Illuminerdi, Netflix has signed British director Toby Haynes to direct episodes of The Sandman, though they could not say how many. Haynes's resume reads like a laundry list of the United Kingdom's most popular genre series, including Doctor Who, Sherlock, the Star Trek-inspired "USS Callister" episode of Black Mirror, and Being Human. Those credits suggest that he would be well-suited to directing the dark, contemporary fantasy of The Sandman. All that remains is for Netflix or someone involved with the project to confirm the deal.
During a panel at Comic-Con at Home, producer David S. Goyer Revealed 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."
Before coming to live-action, The Sandman saw its first adaptation as an audiobook exclusive to Audible. Gaiman says that where that 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."