Neil Gaiman’s “Sandman” is Coming to Netflix and We Have Opinions

Posted on July 02, 2019

Darlings, we got the very BEST sort of news yesterday.

A TV series based on the “The Sandman” comic books created by Neil Gaiman has officially been ordered to series at Netflix.

Allan Heinberg will write and serve as showrunner and executive producer on the series, with Gaiman and David S. Goyer also writing and executive producing. Gaiman, Heinberg and Goyer will co-write the first episode. Warner Bros. Television will produce, with the series receiving a 10-episode commitment.

“We’re thrilled to partner with the brilliant team that is Neil Gaiman, David S. Goyer and Allan Heinberg to finally bring Neil’s iconic comic book series, ‘The Sandman,’ to life onscreen,” said Channing Dungey, vice president of original series at Netflix. “From its rich characters and storylines to its intricately built-out worlds, we’re excited to create an epic original series that dives deep into this multi-layered universe beloved by fans around the world.”

Writer Neil Gaiman has an ardent set of fans and if you asked them to rate his best works, you’d be opening up quite the can of worms, but for us – for Tom specifically – nothing tops his Sandman comic series. In fact, we found it odd that two of his novels were adapted to series before his actual series ever got the chance. And in our opinion, the adaptations of American Gods and Good Omens both fizzled out – largely because there’s not enough story to sustain more than a few hours of good television. But Sandman, if anything, has an excess of story; enough stories to fuel ten seasons of television. Even better: so much of the Sandman series comprises stand-alone, self-contained or otherwise peripheral stories, such that any creative team of a television show – especially one with a supposed huge budget – could pick and choose which ones they want to highlight or adapt. As Game of Thrones came to a close and everyone started talking about whether or not there would ever be a series with the same epic scope and character-based intimacy, our thoughts kept returning to this series and our frustration that it had yet to be adapted or sold. We kind of hoped HBO would be its home, but we’re happy to hear Netflix is willing to throw some money at it. It’s way too early to get too excited, but with the knowledge that Gaiman is on board and the fairly good track record Netflix has for developing genre shows, we have high hopes.

Now, if there’s one subject upon which we should be encouraged to dream big, it’s the casting of the story of the King of Dreams, right? Let’s get down to it. Our Dream cast (pun intended):

As far as we’re concerned, Morpheus needs to be three things: British, brooding and gaunt. Hiddleston could do a lovely job of it, but we honestly feel David Tennant has all of the aforementioned qualities (he’s Scottish actually, but his RP accent is flawless) plus the highly coveted experience working with weird genre stuff. If we’re looking at the Endless as eternally youthful (which is one way to go with the casting), then we’d suggest Riz Ahmed as a swerve of a choice. From the dark eyes to the cheekbones, he’s got the look.

Maisie Williams as Death. MAISIE WILLIAMS AS DEATH. We don’t see the need to elucidate further. It’s self-explanatory. There is no other. Similarly …

Kristofer Hivju as Destruction. Again: it’s just too perfect to ignore and shoving a couple of very popular Game of Thrones alums into the production would not be a bad idea. Having said that, these are the only three characters we feel needed to capture a certain physicality found in their comic depictions. Which brings us to…

Indya Moore as Desire. First, because failing to cast a trans or non-binary actor in this role would be a mistake, given that the character was genderqueer long before we had the word to describe them. We also like the idea of ensuring that The Endless are not all British or all white. A non-binary American person of color would shake up the family a bit while being utterly on-point for the character.

Delirium is a tough one and our original thought was Juno Temple, but the more we think about it, the more we come around to the idea that she needs to be played by a little girl. A little, intense girl. Nico Parker, maybe?

Despair would almost certainly have to be rethought in terms of her look because a short, obese, naked feral-looking woman as a living avatar of despair is … not a great idea. And since you only see Destiny’s mouth and the guy’s not given to emotional outbursts in his few scenes, we don’t really have any thoughts about who should play him. But Helen Mirren as Mad Hettie? Danai Gurira as Nada? Zoe Kazan as Thessaly? Russell Tovey as Cluracan? Elle Fanning as Rose Walker? Michael Fassbender as Hob Gadling? If we’re gonna dream, we’re going big, darlings. There are SO many characters to cast. Let’s hear some ideas.

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