The Hollywood Reporter confirmed that Netflix has signed on to “the most expensive TV series that DC entertainment has ever done” with Warner Bros. for The Sandman, Neil Gaiman‘s critically acclaimed 75 issue comics series published by Vertigo (DC Comics) in the early 90s. Gaiman and David Goyer will executive produce the series, which has been confirmed for 11 episodes, with Allan Heinberg (Wonder Woman) as writer and showrunner. This news comes on the heels of DC shuttering Vertigo and other comic imprints as they consolidate their line-up.
I talked about difficulties in adapting Neil Gaiman back when Starz rolled out American Gods, and how The Sandman was lost in adaptation as New Line Cinema struggled to get a feature film off the ground. At the time I was skeptical that The Sandman could even be adapted into a film — a TV series made more sense for this odd meandering collection of stories featuring the king of dreams. It seems many on the creative side agreed. Eric Heisserer, who was retooling the feature film script for New Line back in early 2016, also stepped away by the end of the year for that very reason.
“I had many conversations with Neil on this, and I did a lot of work on the feature and came to the conclusion that the best version of this property exists as an HBO series or limited series, not as a feature film, not even as a trilogy. The structure of the feature film really doesn’t mesh with this. So I went back and said here’s the work that I’ve done. This isn’t where it should be. It needs to go to TV. So I talked myself out of a job!”
It’s possible that the recent success of Amazon’s Good Omens may have helped to seal the deal. Hopefully Netflix will do an even better job adapting The Sandman, which was the first time I truly understood what power lies in stories, and why we need them.
Check back here for more news on The Sandman as the story develops.