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Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman says Netflix’s ‘The Sandman’ will take viewers on a ‘journey you’ve not been on before’

By Christian Imperio Published Feb 18, 2022 12:36 pm

Author Neil Gaiman promises that the upcoming series adaptation of his acclaimed graphic novel The Sandman will surprise viewers in each of its episodes. 

In an interview with Empire magazine, Gaiman shared that the Netflix adaptation of his magnum opus is “all about surprising” the viewers.

“You watch Episode 1 and think, ‘Oh, I get this thing: it’s like Downton Abbey, but with magic. Then you’ll be wondering, ‘What the hell is this?’ by Episode 2, when you’re meeting Gregory The Gargoyle in The Dreaming. Episode 5 is about as dark and traumatic as anything is ever gonna get, then you’ve got Episode 6, which is probably the most feel-good of all the episodes,” he explained. 

The fiction author also explained how The Sandman differs from HBO’s big budget fantasy drama Game of Thrones, which earlier received negative feedbacks from viewers over its ending.  

“If you didn’t like an episode of Game Of Thrones, you probably won’t like any other episode of Game Of Thrones. With Sandman, it’s all about surprising you. It’s all about reinventing itself. It’s all about taking you on a journey you’ve not been on before,” he said. 

Last year, Gaiman, who is one of the executive producers of the show, shared that the "decades-long gestation" for an adaptation of The Sandman was "a bit of a blessing" as the time spent in bringing his magnum opus to life allowed them to ensure that the upcoming series "was true to the comics."  

"Adapting The Sandman for this series has been a labor of love," Gaiman said. "I've been working with the team at Netflix since day one with the goal of shaping a story that's authentic to what makes it the Sandman story that people love, while also giving us a wider perspective on this world than ever."  

Gaiman earlier described the adaptation of his graphic novel as "astounding," saying that the production set of the series was like "walking around inside the comics." 

"Everything from the sets, to the costumes, to the effects felt it had been plucked from my imagination," Gaiman said. 

Tom Sturridge (Dream) and Kirby Howell-Baptiste (Death) lead the cast members for the upcoming 11-episode live-action TV series. They are joined by Gwendoline Christie (Lucifer Morningstar), Vivienne Acheampong (Lucienne), Boyd Holbrook (Corinthian), Sanjeev Bhaskar (Cain) and Asim Chaudhry (Abel).  

Meanwhile, Allan Heinberg (Wonder Woman, Grey’s Anatomy) is serving as showrunner and executive producer of the project alongside David S. Goyer (Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, Krypton, Foundation) and Gaiman.  

Several attempts have been made to adapt Gaiman's The Sandman into a film since the 1990s. Before the series landed on Netflix in 2019, Joseph Gordon Levitt was initially attached to star and direct in a film adaptation. However, he eventually left the project because of creative differences.  

“For the last thirty-three years, the Sandman characters have breathed and walked around and talked in my head. I’m unbelievably happy that now, finally, they get to step out of my head and into reality," Gaiman previously said in a statement. “I can’t wait until the people out there get to see what we’ve been seeing as Dream and the rest of them take flesh, and the flesh belongs to some of the finest actors out there.”  

Netflix describes the upcoming adaptation as a rich blend of modern myth and dark fantasy in which contemporary fiction, historical drama and legend are seamlessly interwoven.