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‘The Sandman’: Neil Gaiman Says Netflix Series Was About to Enter Production Before Shutdown

Oft-rumored yet never realized, real progress was being made on Neil Gaiman's comic book adaptation before the industry-wide production stoppage.

Sandman Cover


DC Comics/Vertigo

Netflix’s adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s “The Sandman” will eventually see the light of day, coronavirus be damned.

It’s been a long, winding, decades-long road for Hollywood’s take on the beloved comic book series, but Gaiman recently confirmed that work on the series had been progressing smoothly prior to the global pandemic and promised that work would resume once the entertainment industry’s production hiatuses were lifted.

“It’s going really well, except it’s kind of hibernating right now until people start making TV again,” Gaiman said in a Tumblr post on April 14. “The scripts for the first season are written, casting had started, directors hired, sets were being built. Everything was ready to go into production, and then we moved into a pause. As soon as the world is ready to make TV drama, ‘Sandman’ will move smoothly back into being made. In the meantime, we are taking the opportunity to get the scripts as good as we can.”

Sources close to production confirmed the accuracy of Gaiman’s Tumblr post.

While the pandemic means that “The Sandman” fans will have to wait a bit longer for the long-awaited Netflix series, the news that significant progress was being made should sit well with fans of the metaphysical comic book series, as Hollywood has attempted to adapt the “The Sandman” into a film or television show since the 1990s to no avail. Netflix officially gave an 11-episode series order to “The Sandman” last July.

The eventual release of “The Sandman” could help Netflix reposition itself as a formidable publisher of comic-related television shows. Netflix had an active hand in that genre with its Marvel partnership several years ago, which produced well-received shows such as “Luke Cage” and “Jessica Jones.” Netflix’s Marvel shows were abruptly killed in the months after Disney announced Disney+, which will become the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s unofficial television home when it releases series such as “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” and “WandaVision.” Netflix has been amping back up its comic book property output, including recent hits like “The Umbrella Academy” and “Locke & Key,” and the company recently inked a first look deal with BOOM! Studios to develop more comic book-based projects.

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