The Sandman is a highly praised dark fantasy comic series, written by Neil Gaiman and distributed by DC, that run from 1989 until 1996. Discussions about a Sandman adaptation commenced almost immediately after, but it took more than 20 years and a lot of changes in the original plan for the project to finally come close to fruition.
Despite the restrictions that have delayed filming plans for many favorite series, 2021 seems to be a good year as far as highly anticipated SFF adaptations are concerned, with series such as House of the Dragon and the Lord of the Rings prequel being in the making. It seems that The Sandman, which is currently being developed by Netflix, is finally faring equally well, with the main cast members recently announced.
Here is what we know so far:
No precise release date has been announced for The Sandman so far. But in an interview with Digital Spy, Gaiman mentioned that the show was modernized a bit to take place in 2021, so it would only be fitting for the series to be released this year. We can’t be sure of the exact date, but given the delays that have plagued most productions, it’s safer to assumer that it will be late in the year.
Until yesterday’s announcement, Netflix had kept all information about the cast under lock and key. Of course, this means that they released no trailer either, but we expect this to change very soon as we come closer to the release date.
There. A whole set of tweets written just before bed and set to go out when I'm fast asleep. I'm vaguely worried that I've mistimed them, but too late now. Here are the first seven members of the #Sandman cast to be announced officially. Seven down, hundreds to go. pic.twitter.com/DksGLyMkBf
— Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself) January 28, 2021
The main character of The Sandman is Dream, also known as Morpheus. He will be played by Tom Sturridge (Far From the Madding Crowd, Mary Shelley). Neil Gaiman – who has often been vocal during the adaptation’s long development hell – seems very pleased with the choice. Gwendoline Christie (Game of Thrones) has been cast as Lucifer an interesting choice that promises an androgynous portrayal – not an uncommon choice for angel and demon characters. Christie isn’t the only GoT veteran joining the Sandman production.
Charles Dance will portray Roderick Burgess, an occultist – very different from Tywin Lannister!
Other cast members include Boyd Holbrook (Logan) as the Corinthian, a nightmare created by Morpheus, and Vivienne Acheampong (Famalam, The Witches) as Lucienne, Morpheus’ trusted librarian. Asim Chaudry (People Just Do Nothing) and Sanjeev Bhaskar (Unforgotten, Paddington 2) will play Cain and Abel respectively; both residents of the Dream Realm in the comic. Taron Eagerton will also appear, though it’s not yet clear which character he will portray.
Here is a short synopsis: “In 1916, Dream, the king of stories and one of the seven Endless, is captured in an occult ritual. After being held captive for 105 years, in 2021 he escapes and sets out to restore order to his kingdom of the Dreaming.”
To break this down for those who haven’t read the comic, Dream, the titular Sandman, also known as Morpheus, is one of the seven Endless; beings more ancient and powerful than gods. Dream represents everything that isn’t real and he reigns over all dreams and stories while he also personifies them. The other Endless are Death, Destiny, Desire, Destruction Despair, and Delirium.
This is a magical and extremely interesting, if dark premise that lends itself well to the comic form. We can’t wait to see how it will be interpreted on screen.
While we now know who will play Dream, Death, another important Endless, is unaccounted for so far. In Gaiman’s world, Death is female, casually dressed in a gothic style and all in all not as menacing as you would expect, visiting people at the moment of their birth as well as at the end of their lives. Death has inspired many a cosplay and fans are eager to see how Netflix will choose to portray her.
Gaiman is not the first author to create his own interpretation of the biblical Lucifer, but he is a memorable one, based on the fallen angel's nuanced depiction in Milton’s Paradise Lost. The character himself seems conscious of the stereotypes about the devil… so much that he tires of them, gets his own spin-off, retires to earth, and opens a nightclub.
The TV show adaptation of the spin-off is also on Netflix, so fans had wondered if Tom Ellis would take up the role in The Sandman too. Christie being cast as Lucifer put an end to these rumors; but at the end of the day, Lucifer has had many faces in popular culture and we look forward to seeing her version.
This is what we know about the highly anticipated adaptation of The Sandman so far. Stay tuned to find out more information as it’s announced!