The Fates have never been on the side of Hollywood adaptations of Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman. Roger Avary struggled to make a movie in the ‘90s. Both James Mangold and Eric Kripke pitched TV series based on the character, and neither got off the ground. Most recently, Gaiman, David S. Goyer and Joseph Gordon-Levitt were working on a feature film, which would have been distributed by New Line had it not gotten sucked into development hell.
So that’s why I’m treating the announcement that WB is making a big-budget Sandman Netflix series the same way Charlie Brown would treat Lucy’s football. This time around, Gaiman and Goyer are attached as executive producers. Allan Heinberg (Wonder Woman screenwriter and The Young Avengers co-creator) is set to be the showrunner, and however you feel about his work, he’s certainly a step up from Goyer screenwriting.
As of now, there are no details about casting or episode count. Do you think this will actually happen? I err on the side of skepticism, partially because of the project’s exhausting history, and partially because Netflix has two dozen other big-budget fantasy series they claim to be making. On the other hand, Neil Gaiman adaptions are having a bit of a renaissance, what with American Gods and Amazon’s Good Omens doing well. If they’re going to cash in on this before the Gaiman well dries, they should make a Sandman show pronto.
There are so many exciting cliffhangers to this story. Will Netflix’s Sandman actually progress? Will Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s phone ever ring? Will Warner Bros. remember that they have their own DC Comics streaming service that could really use some content now? Stay tuned to find out!