DC FanDome: Sandman Netflix Adaptation Still Happening, Neil Gaiman Shares New Details

It’s been over a year since news arrived that Netflix was reportedly developing a live-action Sandman comics adaptation with DC and Warner Bros. TV, and we’ve heard very little about the show since then. However, Sandman series creator Nail Gaiman gave a rare update on the show during DC’s FanDome event.

When discussing the various Sandman adaptations that have been made or attempted over the years–including the well-received Audible drama version that came out this year–Gaiman mentioned the Netflix adaptation in passing, confirming that it’s indeed still in the works, despite the lack of news. That alone was great to hear, given how many movies’ releases and productions have been shut down or delayed due to COVID-19, not to mention the TV shows whose schedules have been upended by the pandemic.

But Gaiman shared more details: He went on to say that, unlike the audio drama, which NPR called “rigidly faithful” to the original books, the Netflix version will be “slightly looser, but still faithful.”

Later during the Sandman panel, Gaiman continued: “We’ve taken advantage of [the COVID-19] pause button just to try and get the scripts as close to perfect as possible,” the author said. “Right now, as the universal pause button is starting to come off, we are starting to cast again, we are starting–I’m getting these inspiring and wonderful emails with production designs, with places that I’ve only ever seen in the comics before now being rendered in 3D, and I’m being asked to comment on it, and that’s amazing.

“What we’re doing with Netflix is saying, ‘OK, It’s still going to start in 1916, but the thing that happens in Sandman 1–the point the story starts–is not 1988, it’s now.’ And how does that change the story? What does that give us? what does that make us have to look at that we wouldn’t have had to look at if we were setting it as a character piece? What is that going to do to the gender of characters…the nature of characters?” He added that it’s been “an absolute delight” to examine the story and characters in a new light while staying faithful to the source material he wrote.

And that’s what we know. It’s easy to assume that, were it not for COVID, we likely would have heard more substantial news about Netflix’s Sandman adaptation by now. Unfortunately, all we currently know is what was included in the original report in 2019: It’s a joint production between Netflix, DC, and Warner Bros. TV; the showrunner at the time was said to be Allan Heinberg, who co-wrote 2017’s Wonder Woman; Gaiman will executive produce, alongside DC veteran David Goyer, whose credits include co-writing Man of Steel and Christopher Nolan’s Batman movies, as well as the TV show Krypton; and it will allegedly be the most expensive DC show ever produced.

DC FanDome, a digital fan convention celebrating all things DC, continues all weekend. Stay tuned to GameSpot for all the news and coverage you need, like the Cheetah reveal in the brand new Wonder Woman 1984 trailer.

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