Netflix Dreaming of a ‘Sandman’ Series – Ambitious Project in Negotiations with Warner Bros.

In a post-Preacher, post-American Gods world, some might’ve imagined that it was an inevitability that someone would finally tackle the highly acclaimed graphic novel series The Sandman; but taking on that task is not for the faint of heart, given the intricate plot and mind bending landscape that comprises it.

Nonetheless it appears that Netflix are closing on the deal which will finally bring Neil Gaiman‘s magnum opus to the small screen (and pretty much guarantees that I’ll be keeping my subscription for the foreseeable future).

The deal which is currently still in negotiations will be a boon for DC and their Vertigo comic imprint, as well as Warner Bros. who handle the cinematic end of their popular titles.

This purchase is being cited as having a “hefty price tag” attached for Netflix, who nonetheless appear eager to bring Morpheus the Dream King and his ensemble of friends, foes and nightmares into the live-action world; having already made successful bids for big IPs like Magic: The Gathering, The Dark Crystal and The Chronicles of Narnia are playing in an aggressive streaming landscape, especially in a post-MCU, post-The Office world.

Allan Heinberg (Wonder Woman, ABC’s The Catch, Grey’s Anatomy) is set to write and serve as showrunner on the straight-to-series drama. Gaiman will executive produce alongside David Goyer according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Netflix have so far declined to comment given the current phase of the deal, precluding any specific information as to episode count.

Brief Synopsis of the First Graphic Novel:

The Sandmans main character is Dream, the titular Sandman, also known to various characters throughout the series as Morpheus, Oneiros, the Shaper, the Shaper of Form, Lord of the Dreaming, the Dream King, Dream-Sneak, the Cat of Dreams, Murphy, Kai’ckul and Lord L’Zoril, who is the anthropomorphic personification of dreams. At the start of the series, Morpheus is captured by an occult ritual and held prisoner for 70 years. Morpheus escapes in the modern day and, after avenging himself upon his captors, sets about rebuilding his kingdom, which has fallen into disrepair in his absence. The character’s initial haughty and often cruel manner begins to soften after his years of imprisonment at the start of the series, but the challenge of undoing past sins and changing old ways is an enormous one for a being who has been set in his ways for billions of years.

So The Sandman was probably the most definitively complex and fascinating comic I ever read; years before I even caught onto the likes of Alan Moore, I was wrapped up in the dream world that Neil Gaiman wrought which treated ancient lore and mythology like things one would read about alongside any other historical event; added to that was an inherently logical (that is to say, adhering to infallible dream logic) inner workings and an obviously pseudobiographical representation of Gaiman himself in the title character.

Buying the individual books piecemeal and in no special order, because it felt like it; to enjoy this, I thought I should treat each chapter of a story in a dream-like way; entering midpoint, grasping at hints and memories to piece together the plot which was itself a piecemeal montage of a hundred myths from a hundred lands and a hundred different times.

The reward when I finally concluded the tale (I think it was The Kindly Ones, apropos to the true climax in any case) and I remained in solemn awe ever since that moment.

I’ve long since sold those old tattered graphic novels and even the massive deluxe hard copies I’d picked up later, in the name of material streamlining. But the story and the characters remain as those which most definitively shaped my imagination and way of seeing the world for nearly thirty years.

So yeah, Netflix. Best of luck. Try not to screw this one up, please.

What about you, Wasteoids? Any fans of The Sandman out there? Do you even think it’s possible to translate this book onto the screen?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!