Neil Gaiman's 'The Sandman' becoming a TV show?

morpheusImage Credit: DC ComicsIf you wanted to unilaterally announce the greatest comic book ever, you could do worse than The Sandman. Over the course of 75 issues, master fantasist Neil Gaiman worked with a series of talented artists to invent a seductive universe that felt cosmically expansive and remarkably intimate. Nominally the story of a godlike figure of Morpheus, Lord of Dreams, The Sandman packs in just about every influence you can imagineĀ  — Greek mythology, Paradise Lost, The Chronicles of Narnia, old-school grisly EC comics, plus occasional appearances by William Shakespeare. It’s essentially unadaptable in movie form — the budget would need to be roughly $5 billion, the running time would be 100 hours, and it would be rated NC-17. (Get me Bruckheimer!) If anything, the breadth of the story demands a TV show, so perhaps we should be hopeful about The Hollywood Reporter‘s report on a potential TV adaptation of Sandman.

Warner Bros. TV had no comment on the project, but according to the Reporter, Warner is eyeing Eric Kripke to run the potential show. Kripke is the creator of Supernatural, a show with a similar genre cocktail of epic fantasy. (I haven’t seen Supernatural, but people I trust tell me it started out pretty normal and gradually became incredible…which pretty much describes The Sandman, actually.)

You could argue that Sandman is so tied to its original medium that any kind of adaptation is ridiculous, but part of me feels like some issues — like the people-going-crazy yarn “24 Hours,” or the mini-biopic of a Roman Emperor in “August,” or anything from the “Worlds End” saga — could become, without much tweaking, truly incredible episodes of television. Also, post-Lost, don’t we need another far-flung flashbackin’ fantasy epic?

What do you think, PopWatchers? Neophytes, have I convinced you to just maybe check out The Sandman? Megafans, should they just give up on trying to cast this baby and make it an animated series?

Comments (29 total) Add your comment
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  • Louise

    YES! YES! YES!!!

    • Jersey Jeff

      I would love some Pop-Tarts right now.

  • harry


  • Jackie

    If I would trust anyone with this, it would be Kripke! He did well using elements of the Neil Gaiman/Terry Pratchett novel “Good Omens” in “Supernatural” season five :)

  • Monty

    If this happens it needs to be on a network that will support the depth of the comics and its content. I have no interest in seeing a CW sanitized version of “The Corinthian” for example. I always felt that this could be done on HBO or Showtime, and to keep costs AND support the visual changes in the comics they could have a different actor play Morpheus in each ‘season’ (assuming they did each collection as a different season). This would be even better if they brought in different directors to further show the difference in visual style from story to story. I know continuity is important in a TV show, but its successful in Dr. Who (in terms of leading actor) and it is immensly important to the story that the visuals be as uniquely dynamic as each story.

    Plus, they could end with a bitchen “The Kindly Ones” movie!

  • Chris

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. Leave it alone. There is no way you can do Sandman justice in a TV or movie format.

  • Ryan

    This series is without a doubt the greatest thing I’ve ever read. I would absolutely lose my marbles over a TV series. But it has to be on cable! Sandman is way too explicit for broadcast TV.

    • Adam

      AWESOME! Definitely needs to be on cable.

  • didi

    Loved the books. Terrified that this could be a diaster. But if anyone can pull it together, it’d be Kripke. Supernatural is truly awesome (fearing for season six without Kripke at the helm but still hopeful.)

  • Daphne

    I agree with Chris. Please leave it alone.

  • Breck

    To me, it all depends on who takes on the project, and what network picks it up. I mean look at Walking Dead, looks awesome from everything I’ve seen, and it’s on AMC, they don’t miss very often. I think this has the potential to be something good. I love graphic novels and would love to see them on TV, ESPECIALLY “PREACHER”

  • Double J

    As much as I would love to see this as a live-action, animation really opens the doors. How about different animation styles per story arc like the series?

    I won’t hold my breath – too many good ideas are stuck in ‘developmental purgatory’ and never see the light of day.

    ‘Tis nice to dream though.

    • Monty

      I’d rather it be stuck in development purgatory than have them sanitize and minimize the story. It needs to be done right or not at all. If Gaiman would attach himself to it I would be very excited. This has potential to be the best comic based project to date, or it could be the next ‘league of extrordinary gentlemen’…

  • Beaver

    Please, don’t dumb it down.

  • Xena Warrior Princess

    Leave it alone. please

  • Matt

    This is a terrible idea, and I’ll be really disappointed with DC if they let this go through. The Sandman should never be adapted to television or film. It would spoil the whole thing. Sadly, if they do decide to go forward, it’s out of Gaiman’s control as well.

    I’ll really be upset if this happens.

    • Danny

      Its Vertigo not DC.

      • AJ

        Vertigo is owned & controlled by DC, sweetheart.

  • Danny

    With Hollywood and its trilogies I cant be convinced that a solid screenplay couldnt be created to cover at least part of this fantastic story.
    Tim Burton and Jonny Depp would have been my first choice to man the helm.

  • Laura

    Yes, yes, yes for Kripke + Sandman.

    However, it needs desperately to NOT be shopped to “The CW.”

    Time Warner owns HBO. It could do well there.

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