English actor Tom Sturridge will topline the drama as the Sandman himself, aka Dream, aka Morpheus, aka the Lord of the Dreaming. Gwendoline Christie co-stars as Lucifer, the Ruler of Hell, which should be a walk in the park for her considering how much fear she instilled in her Game of Thrones character.
Asim Chaudhry and Sanjeeve Bhaskar have been tapped to play Abel and Cain, Earth’s first victim and the first predator, both of whom are now subjects of the Dreaming. Beyond Sturridge as Dream, there’s no word on who will play the other Endless siblings, Destiny, Death, Destruction, Despair, Desire, and Delirium.
Netflix is describing the project as “a rich blend of modern myth and dark fantasy in which contemporary fiction, historical drama, and legend are seamlessly interwoven.” The 11-episode first season in particular will follow the Dream King as he returns to the people and places he’s effected over his endless lifetime as he attempts to repair an eternity of cosmic and human mistakes. As previously announced, Season 1 will cover Preludes & Nocturnes, the first collected edition of the comics that consists of the issues #1-#8. (The original series ran for 75 issues between 1989 and 1996.)
Gaiman and Allan Heinberg are co-writing the Sandman adaptation, and David Goyer is executive producing it on behalf of Warner Bros. Television. From the sound of it (via The Hollywood Reporter), Gaiman is already very pleased with how the show is shaping up:
“For the last 33 years, the Sandman characters have breathed and walked around and talked in my head. I’m unbelievably happy that now, finally, they get to step out of my head and into reality. I can’t wait until the people out there get to see what we’ve been seeing as Dream and the rest of them take flesh, and the flesh belongs to some of the finest actors out there. This is astonishing, and I’m so grateful to the actors and to all of The Sandman collaborators — Netflix, Warner Bros., DC, to Allan Heinberg and David Goyer, and the legions of crafters and geniuses on the show — for making the wildest of all my dreams into reality.”
Up until now, Gaiman’s classic comic series experienced one failed development after another. Numerous companies attempted to pick it up over the past few decades, but nobody was able to drum up enough money or executive enthusiasm to bring the complex tale to life. The closest it came was when Joseph Gordon-Levitt was set to adapt and star in a big screen adaptation, but even he backed out in 2016 — a disappointing decision at the time, but one that has since paved the way for Netflix explore the Sandman stories and myths even deeper in this live-action show.
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