Neil Gaiman is a popular name in the fantasy genre of novels. Many of his acclaimed books, such as Coraline, American Gods, and Good Omens, have been adapted into movies or TV series and became successful on the silver screen too.
However, in terms of comic books, Gaiman’s major success is The Sandman, the modified version of the 1940s DC Comics superhero.
Gaiman was charged with depicting the DC Comics character in his way, and he pulled that off in a fine manner, making The Sandman one of the most popular comic series in history. The latest announcement for the live-action adaptation of the series has taken it to another level.
The Sandman is not a comic book about superheroes fighting against villains. The titular character, Sandman/Morpheus, is originally Dream, the ruler of the dreaming world, from where he has control over the dreams of every living being.
He is above every creation that existed, possibly even before the beginning of time. But he is not alone; he has six other siblings - Destiny, Death, Desire, Destruction, Despair, and Delirium, who exist out of necessity for the universe.
Together they form the Endless, the group of personifications of metaphysical entities, each ruling their own world.
The story becomes increasingly complex as it explains the dysfunctional relationships and sibling-like rivalries between the entities, which turn into deeper philosophical meanings.
Neil Gaiman fully uses his trademark literary talents of taking inspiration from religion, great novels, Shakespearean comedy, tragedy, history, Norse, Greek, and various mythologies and incorporating them into the story.
His graphic storytelling makes The Sandman complex, ambitious, and fulfilling enough to take its place in the literary world.
Plans to live-screen adapt this series began in 1991 and went through a limbo state for many years. There was an initiative for a film adaptation in 2013, with Joseph Gordon-Levitt starring as Dream and possibly directing, but creative differences halted the project in 2016.
Finally, in 2019, Netflix announced The Sandman to be adapted as live-screen TV series, with Neil Gaiman behind the development and David S. Goyer as director.
This 10-episode series will mainly cover Preludes & Nocturnes and The Doll's House, the first two issues of the comic series.
The famed Dream is to be seen wrongfully captured in his weakened state in 1916 by a group of occultists who hoped to imprison Death to gain immortality.
After several decades, Dream frees himself from captivity and embarks on a journey to reclaim his kingdom of the dreaming world, which went into a state of decay since his absence.
The TV series ensembles a stellar cast, including Tom Sturridge as Dream, Gwendoline Christie, Boyd Holbrook, Stephen Fry, Mark Hamill, and many others. Some of the cast are prominent in the British TV and Film industry.
Scheduled to be released on August 5, only time can tell if it faithfully adapted Neil Gaiman’s masterful creations.