“When the first living thing drew breath, He was there. Waiting…”
Neil Gaiman’s masterpiece, the groundbreaking comic book series, The Sandman, is being adapted into a live-action show for Netflix. A teaser trailer, along with a few stylish character posters, were recently released online. The Sandman is many things, but first and foremost, it’s the story of Dream of The Endless: Lord of The Dreaming & King of Stories. Dream has gone by many names over the eons, but these days he is mostly known as Morpheus.
When all mortal beings sleep and dream, we enter his realm, The Dreaming. As I mentioned before, Dream, along with his 6 siblings, are immortal beings called The Endless. They’re physical embodiments of fundamental aspects of existence. From oldest to youngest, there’s: Destiny (Dream’s big brother), Death (Dream’s big sister), Dream, Destruction (Dream’s wayward younger brother, sometimes referred to as “The Prodigal” among the family because he abandoned his duties), Desire (his brother/sister), Despair (his sister and Desire’s twin), and Delirium (his sister and the youngest of The Endless, once know as Delight).
The Endless aren’t simply manifestations of these concepts, they also take responsibility for their proper function. For example, Death ensures that recently deceased mortal souls reach their proper destination, after they leave the realm of the living. One of my favorite quotes in the entire series is from Death, when she says ”When the last living thing dies, my job will be finished. I’ll put the chairs on the tables, turn out the lights, and lock the universe behind me when I leave.” But this is all just set up, establishing the spectacular world of The Sandman.
In the introduction to Endless Nights, one of the volumes of The Sandman, Neil Gaiman talks about how he was asked to describe the story of The Sandman in 25 words or less. His response was “The Lord of Dreams learns that one must change or die, and makes his decision.“. That is a beautifully simple, brilliant, pitch perfect description of something so wonderfully sprawling and complex. It’s one of my favorite quotes and it completely encapsulates one of the central ideas at core of this incredible tale. Throughout this incredible fable, the story takes us to ancient Rome, Hell, the beginning of the universe, Arkham Asylum, New York City, a serial killer convention, and a million places in between. Along the way we encounter characters like John Constantine, Batman, Superman, Martian Manhunter, William Shakespeare, Lucifer, and a cast of thousands!
I truly and deeply love the work of Neil Gaiman, and The Sandman is my favorite of his creations. I’ve re-read the series at least a dozen times over the years and I find something new and exciting every time I revisit it. Which is part of the magic of this amazing story. It was incredibly exciting to get our first look at this show, when the teaser trailer was released online, along with several character posters. This is the perfect time to tell the story of Morpheus of The Endless, in a medium other than comics. So, let’s take a look at the teaser trailer, a behind-the-scenes video, some cool new posters, concept art, and much more! Let’s dive in!
Morpheus can be prickly, standoffish, and solitary, but one of the few people (or beings) he trusts and opens up to, is his older sister, Death. Like in this scene, in which Death pays her little brother a visit, while he’s feeding pigeons in the park.
The Sandman: Teaser Trailer
Check out the trailer below:
This is a fantastic teaser trailer, with imagery pulled straight out of The Sandman #1
Official Posters & Plot Synopsis
Here’s the official series synopsis from Netflix:
The Lord of Dreams has been summoned, and captured, by mortal men. Once free from his captivity, this eternal ruler of Dreams will realize that his troubles are only just beginning. The Sandman is a Netflix series based on the groundbreaking comic book series created for DC by Neil Gaiman. The series is Executive Produced by Neil Gaiman, Allan Heinberg, & David S. Goyer.
Behind-The-Scenes Sneak Peek…
A few months ago, Netflix put out a Behind-The-Scenes look at the making of The Sandman. If you’re unfamiliar with the source material, this video will definitely put the teaser trailer (above), in better context and give you a clearer picture of what exactly the series is all about…
Netflix also released some behind-the-scenes images that shows some of the beautiful sets they’ve designed and created for this series. This image gives us a look at the set for Lucifer’s palace in Hell, along with a piece of concept art that illustrates, roughly, what one of the scenes being filmed of the set will look like.
It’s really heartening to see that Netflix is investing in the time, money, and imagination to build amazing sets like these. It’ll require the use of both practical and VFX to effectively create a successful Sandman series. I absolutely adore this next piece of concept art, that shows, at least visually, the series is going to be a pretty faithful adaptation of the comic book.
The concept art depicts a key moment from the events that kick off the entire series and set the whole story in motion. Dream has just escaped 100 years of imprisonment at the hands of mortals, who so foolishly attempted to summon and imprison Death. Fortunately for the universe, (and eventually unfortunately for the idiots who kept him captive) they summoned Death’s younger brother Dream, instead. Eventually he escapes through patience and gets his retribution. I’ve included the same moment as depicted in the original comic book, to illustrate exactly how the Netflix series seems to be swinging for the fences with scope and wonder to bring us a faithful adaptation.
Below I included a cast list, as well. It’s not the entire cast, obviously. However it does give you a good idea of who is playing some of the key characters.
The Sandman Audio Series: Acts I & II (Audible Original)
Its’s a great time to be a Sandman fan, and the upcoming Netflix series isn’t the only reason to be excited. If you’re a fan of the graphic novels, like myself, and you’re eagerly anticipating the show’s Netflix premiere in 2022, I highly recommend you check out Audibles adaptation of The Sandman. It is far and away the best audio drama I’ve ever heard. It is top-of-the-line, excellence across the board. The music and sound design are fantastic. The voice cast, headlined by James McAvoy as Morpheus, is spectacular. Other standouts include, Michael Sheen a Lucifer, Kat Dennings as Death, and Jeffrey Wright as Destiny, but it’s McAvoy in particular who gives an unforgettable performance as Morpheus. Neil Gaiman himself does a great job of narrating the entire project. Those are just the highlights, there are literally dozens of great performances across these two volumes. Comics are a visual medium, so it’s truly impressive how the team behind this audio drama created such a faithful and entertaining adaptation. If you want to start listening or you’re just curious to check out, I’ve posted the links for both to both volumes below.
The Sandman Act I
The Sandman Act II
The Sandman Act I & II are now available on Audible and The Sandman comes to Netflix in 2022
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