Netflix’s adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s serialized comic The Sandman has been on everyone’s mind for over a year now. During that time, we’ve had cast announcements, confusion, switcheroos, fan drama, and an author filled with righteous fury. But the struggle is only a sign that the project is being done correctly. Throughout the ’90s. Gaiman told Warner Bros. “no” when they tried to make his comic into a full-length feature film. So his deep involvement this time must be a sign the series will hold true to its artistic roots.
The comic was originally published in 1989 and ran until 1996 for a total of 75 issues. In it, we follow the protagonist Dream (The Sandman) along his journey to correct mistakes he’s made in the metaphysical realm and the waking world. Together, Gaiman and the artists paint an incredible picture of a world known as The Dreaming, in which fantastic ideas become reality and nightmares can manifest themselves to affect our collective consciousness. The book was an instant cult classic, and the fan base has remained loyal nearly thirty years after its completion. Now, almost six months after filming has wrapped, release dates remain mysterious. Still, anticipation runs high, as one of the comic book world’s favorite printings draws closer to its live-action storytelling.
The Plot’s Faithfulness
Along with all this excellent information, some juicy surprises await in this prologue to a dream. Neil Gaiman assures audiences that the show will be scary and that each episode will have its own individual feel. He also said that the show is constructed to remain as close to the comic as possible but is meant to be told in a contemporary way:
“The idea is to stay faithful to Sandman, but to do it for now rather than making it a 1980s period piece. In ‘Sandman No. 1, ‘there is a sleeping sickness that occurs because Morpheus, the Lord of Dreams, is captured in 1916, and in 1988 he escapes. Instead of him being a captive for about 80 years, he’s going to be a captive for about 110 years and that will change things. “
Cast & Controversy
The lead, Dream, will be played by Tom Sturridge (The Boat that Rocked), who Neil Gaiman says “will be a star after season one of The Sandman drops, “when he offered an update in post-production. Certainly, it is a world filled with very unique characters. Actors cast in The Sandman have big shoes to fill, but these creators aren’t messing around when it comes to getting the right fit.
The Dreaming is a place holding Dream’s many siblings as well as other, less savory characters, and the production crew for The Sandman spared no expense (or effort) searching for a star-studded cast to fill it. Most exciting among them is likely Game of Thrones‘own Brienne of Tarth, Gwendoline Christie, playing Lucifer, the devil herself. Despite the DC version of Lucifer being primarily male, Neil Gaiman said, “It seemed easier and more fun to have The Sandman version of Lucifer be, well, much closer to The Sandman version of Lucifer. “Lucifer being a character in the comics that was originally inspired by the immortal and slightly androgynous David Bowie. This announcement came with the character Desire being played by non-binary actor Mason Alexander Park (they / them) who most recently fit their talents perfectly into the role of Gren in the live-action remake of Cowboy Bebop.
Another crucial role in the show is Death, Dream’s sister, whose casting sparked an uproar from fans when they found out the actor playing her would not be white. In the comics, Death is a pale Goth girl whose teenage appearance belies her ancient wisdom. But in casting, Gaiman selected Kirby Howell-Baptiste, believing it was more important to find the perfect fit for whom the character truly was, rather than just their skin tone. The author shut down comments on Twitter after fans accused him of being an artist that “does not give of ***” about being true to his own material. Gaiman hit back at the toxic fanssaying, “I give all the f *** s about the work. I spent 30 years successfully battling bad movies of Sandman. I give zero f *** s about people who do not understand / have not read Sandman whining about a non-binary Desire or that Death is not white enough. Watch the show, make up your minds. “
This level of passion could only mean that the part was meant for Kirby Howell-Baptiste. Gaiman wrote on his blog about how difficult, but right, the selection process was:
“[Death was] significantly harder to cast than you might imagine. Hundreds of talented women from all around the planet auditioned, and they were brilliant, and none of them were right. Someone who could speak the truth to Dream, on the one hand, but also be the person you’d want to meet when your life was done on the other. And then we saw Kirby Howell-Baptiste’s (she / her) audition and we knew we had our Death. “
And there are a slew of other wonderful names to look forward to as well: Vivienne Acheampong (The Witches) as Lucienne, the Librarian; Charles Dance (Tywin Lannister in GoT) as Roderick Burgess, or Charlatan; Asim Chaudhry (People Just Do Nothing) as Abel; Lloyd Holbrook (Logan) as The Corinthian; Donna Preston (The Crimes of Grindelwald) as Despair; Patton Oswalt (from just about everything) as Matthew the Raven; Stephen Fry (from your Harry Potter audiobooks) as Gilbert; Jenna Coleman (Doctor Who) as Johanna Constantine; Sandra James Young (EastEnders) as Unity Kincaid; Razane Jammal (Paranormal) as Lyta Hall; David Thewlis (Professor Lupine from The Prisoner of Azkaban) as John Dee; Joely Richardson (Nip / Tuck) as Ethel Cripps and Niamh Walsh (Good Omens) as Young Ethel Cripps; and Kyo Ra as Rose Walker.
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