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Gaiman and Netflix’s ‘Sandman’: Production updates, liberated makers, and more

Everybody’s awaited Netflix adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman has gotten off to a great start––pursuing the right audiences and marketing to the right people. However, it may come to a surprise to comic book readers that the adaptation may be a little different than the comic book. Dirk Maggs, G. Willow Wilson, Michael Sheen, and Gaiman spoke to the DC FanDome about the upcoming adaptation and revealed whatever there is to know about it.

While there are many pressing concerns and issues about the adaptation, Gaiman first stated the situation of the production and the overall project they’re in. Of course, due to the pandemic, the show was also paused. However, there is a little light in knowing that they’ve been working on the script as “close to perfect as we can,” Gaiman said.

Right now as the universal pause button is starting to come off, we’re starting to cast again,” Gaiman said. “I’m getting these inspiring and wonderful emails with production designs with places that I’d only ever seen in the comics before, now being rendered in 3D, and I’m being asked to comment on it. That’s amazing.

Comparing it to other adaptations, however, the creator said that “this is going to be the nearest thing we can do to an audiobook of those first three graphic novels and hopefully all of the graphic novels.’ And we’re going to start it in 1988 and it’s going to end in about 1991 or 1992. ’Sandman’ is a very compressed story even though it takes place all through time and space.”

What we’re doing with Netflix is saying ‘OK It’s still going to start in 1916, but the thing that happens in ‘Sandman’ 1, the point that the story starts is not 1988. It’s now. And how does that change the story? What does that give us? What does that make us have to look at that we wouldn’t have to look at if we were setting it as a period piece? What is that going to do to the gender of characters, what is that going to do to the nature of characters? What’s that going to do to the story? And that has been an absolute delight. Because it means we are always being true to the story and being true to the characters. But it gives us tremendous freedom to go, ‘OK if we were doing it now what would ‘Sandman’ be?’ And that, again, is very liberating.

If the creator seems happy enough to be this liberated in doing the series, I’m pretty sure we’d be astounded with how the show will turn out to be––and that might probably be the most exciting part after the adaptation itself. Way to go, Gaiman! We’re rooting for you here!

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