Early drafts of The Sandman were like Howard the Duck, says creator

The Sandman

Neil Gaiman has waited over thirty years for an adaptation of his beloved graphic novel The Sandman to come to fruition, and he held out while people wrote bad scripts for potential movie and TV adaptations. But now, a version he is happy with is coming to Netflix in August. Gaiman has collaborated with David S. Goyer and Allan Heinberg on the teleplay for the series.

“I didn’t have faith that we’d always get here,” Gaiman told Total Film in the new issue, “but I had faith that the important thing was to stop bad versions being made. Once a bad version is made, you never quite come back from that.”

“It may sound silly, but when I was 14 or 15, my favourite comic was Howard The Duck. Steve Gerber, Gene Colan, Frank Brunner…satire, madness, glory. I was so excited when I heard George Lucas was making a movie. And then the 1986 movie came out. Howard The Duck became a bad joke. I never wanted that to happen to Sandman and I saw scripts that would have made that happen.”

“I can’t promise this is the Sandman of your dreams,” says Gaiman, “but I can promise I’m proud of what we’ve done. I can say that Stephen Fry as Gilbert is waiting for you, Boyd Holbrook as the Corinthian, the serial-killers’ convention… We also get to punch above our weight on casting, because there are people who love Sandman and desperately want to be in it. Everybody is on Sandman because they love it. And it’s magic.”

The Sandman television series stars Tom Sturridge as Dream, Gwendoline Christie as Lucifer, Kirby Howell-Baptiste as Death, and Jenna Colman as Johanna Constantine.

While we wait for The Sandman to start, check out our guide to the best Netflix series.

Fiona Underhill

US News Writer

Updated: Jun 23, 2022


The Sandman
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