It may have taken a while, but the Sandman adaptation is finally pushing forward with Netflix, and we’re even getting an audio drama released starring James McAvoy, Kat Dennings, and Michael Sheen. We know that Neil Gaiman had been trying to get the project done for years, and he opens up about what changed throughout Sandman’s time in development.
Talking about the release of the Audible drama series (via ComicBook), Gaiman comments:
"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.”
For now, times have certainly changed with CGI being more affordable and R-rated films slowly moving into the big-budget territory. Though Gaiman couldn’t officially reveal anything about the Netflix show, he does tease:
"I get these emails of production design stuff on Netflix and Sandman that I just want to show them to everybody, and I know that I can't. They're incredibly confidential, but I look at them, and I glow. The other day they sent me Lucifer's castle and the gates to Hell and all of these Hell designs, and I'm just like, 'This is amazing. Oh my gosh.' It's like watching Kelly Jones' nightmares and Sam Keith and Mike Dringenberg's nightmares just coming to life. We couldn't have done that, I think even five years ago, definitely not 10 years ago. The technology wasn't there. The budget wasn't there. The audience wasn't there. The delivery systems weren't there… The world wasn't ready. So, it's ready now. They caught up with us."
We don’t exactly know how a Sandman series will do, but the property has definitely gotten a wide audience since its release, and it’s considered to be one of the best dark fantasy comics ever written. With shows like The Witcher proving we can have big-budget, R-rated series, I’m sure Sandman will have an easier time being adapted to the screen now.
No release date has been set for the Netflix adaptation of Sandman, but the audio series launches on Audible come July 15.