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‘The Sandman’ First Footage: Netflix Debuts Ambitious First Look at Neil Gaiman Adaptation

Netflix has released video footage of the fantasy series adapted from Gaiman's comic books.

The Sandman

“The Sandman”

YouTube/screenshot

Audiences have been waiting years for a proper adaptation of author Neil Gaiman’s “The Sandman,” and now we’re one step closer. As part of Netflix’s weekend fan event, “Tudum” — which ostensibly celebrates their programming while doubling as a day-long Netflix news takeover — they’ve released the first footage from the streamer’s upcoming live-action series. You can watch the footage below.

Netflix’s logline for the dark fantasy show reads: “A rich blend of modern myth and dark fantasy in which contemporary fiction, historical drama and legend are seamlessly interwoven, ‘The Sandman’ follows the people and places affected by Morpheus, the Dream King, as he mends the cosmic — and human — mistakes he’s made during his vast existence.”

The series announced its cast earlier this year which includes Kirby Howell-Baptiste as Death and Mason Alexander Park as Desire. Death is billed as the “wiser, nicer, and much more sensible sister” of the series’ protagonist, Tom Sturridge’s Dream of the Endless/Morpheus, while Desire is “Dream’s sibling and everything you want, whatever you want, and whoever you are.”

The series has already faced backlash on social media for the casting of Howell-Baptiste, who is Black, in a role that was depicted as white in the source material. Gaiman took to Twitter to quell cries that he didn’t care about his own graphic novel. “I give all the fucks about the work,” Gaiman wrote on social media. “I spent 30 years successfully battling bad movies of ‘Sandman.’ I give zero fucks about people who don’t understand/haven’t read ‘Sandman’ whining about a nonbinary Desire or that Death isn’t white enough. Watch the show, make up your minds.”

Gaiman also shared one fan’s response to Park’s casting that reads: “Desire in ‘Sandman’ was really the first time I encountered in fiction the idea of a person being non-binary. It helped me when reality presented me without non-binary people, some of whom I now know and love. I can’t imagine reading ‘Sandman’ and desiring Desire as anything other.” Gaiman later told one fan that he doesn’t think anyone complaining about a non-binary actor playing Desire has actually read “The Sandman” comic books.

“The Sandman,” was slated to enter production last year before the coronavirus pandemic forced a delay. Filming began in October 2020 and wrapped this summer. No release date has been provided. Watch the first footage below.

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