The Sandman, the comic book series created by fantasy author Neil Gaiman way back in the ’80s, has always been ripe for adaptation, with its arresting visuals, sprawling, rich storylines, and iconic characters. But for one reason or another, every attempt to bring the series to the screen has failed—until now.
Netflix greenlit a TV series based on the comics back in 2019, and began shooting the first season in 2020. Here’s everything you need to know about The Sandman before it comes to streaming.
What is The Sandman about?
The titular sandman of the title is Morpheus, the supernatural being who goes more commonly by the name of Dream. He is one of the Endless, seven godlike siblings who each embody a different trait; the others are Death, Desire, Delirium, Despair, Destruction, and Destiny.
Season 1 of The Sandman will follow the storylines of the first two volumes of the comic series, Preludes & Nocturnes and The Doll’s House.When the story begins, Dream is in captivity, having been trapped by a sorcerer and held prisoner for over a century. Once he escapes, he sets out to return to his realm, the Dreaming.
Is there a trailer?
Netflix just dropped a first look teaser at the series, featuring Tom Sturridge as the protagonist, and Charles Dance as Roderick Burgess, the occultist who attempts to capture Dream in a mystical rite. A number of viewers online have observed that the adaptation definitely appears as if it will be loyal to the comic book, noting several frames which are almost identical to panels from Preludes & Nocturnes.
Who is in the cast?
The Sandman features a huge cast of mythical and biblical figures, as well as characters from the world of DC comics, only a fraction of whom will be seen in the first season. Tom Sturridge has the lead role of Dream, a.k.a. Morpheus, the god of dreams and one of the Endless. The other Endless will be played by Kirby Powell-Baptiste (Death), Mason Alexander (Desire), and Donna Preston (Despair). Charles Dance will appear as Roderick Mason, the sorcerer who captures Dream. Jenna Coleman, best known for playing Clara in Doctor Who, will play supernatural detective Johanna Constantine.
Sanjeev Baskhar and Asim Chaudhry will play Cain and Abel, David Thewlis will play DC supervillain Doctor Destiny, and comic actor Patton Oswalt will voice the raven Matthew.
The series also features the DC comics version of Lucifer, ruler of Hell, who has been played to great acclaim by Tom Ellis in the wildly popular TV series of the same name. While there was some talk of Ellis reprising the role for The Sandman, it was ultimately decided that his interpretation of the character strayed too far from the source material, and so Lucifer will instead be gender-swapped and portrayed by Gwendoline Christie (Game of Thrones).
When is the release date?
No official release date has been announced by Netflix; the first look trailer simply states that the show is “coming soon,” so it is likely that Season 1 will drop some time in 2022. If you can’t wait that long, then Audible has adapted the first two volumes with an all-star cast that you can listen to (for free!) in the meantime.
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