Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman spans 75 issues and countless worlds, following the life and times (if either could be said to apply) of Dream of The Endless. Mostly. There are also issues like A Dream of a Thousand Cats in which the Sandman appears only briefly to drive home one of the central ideas of the series, but which is otherwise a complete departure from the story. As I’m sure fans of Gaiman’s work would agree, these tangents and explorations of the different corners of Gaiman’s worlds are in large part what make them so enthralling (see also: American Gods). The landscapes of his novels and comics are broad and rich, and have the potential to translate beautifully to film.

Kick-Ass director Matthew Vaughn thinks so, too. Back in January, he talked to the good folks over at CBR about a Sandman film, relating the scope of the project to The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Most recently, he spoke to MTV News about taking the project in a different, extremely more awesome direction.

“[Neil and I] talked about it. I think as a movie it’s virtually impossible to make properly. I think it would make an amazing HBO series, you know, where you can just really create that world. You know, it’s so much.There’s too much to get into an hour and a half, two hours.”

Personally, every time I hear of a great comic or novel property being appropriated for the screen (the way Bill Willingham’s Fables was by ABC, for example) my first thought is “Please be for HBO.”  After Deadwood, Rome, Six Feet Under, The Sopranos and True Blood, the network has proven an affinity for stylized and genre specific shows.  More so than any other network I can think of, HBO properties are treated with intelligence and respect and are backed up by creative teams of the highest standard. It’s not just TV, after all.  Sandman could easily generate nine or ten seasons of television which, with a loyal audience, could be incredibly lucrative. It would require a lot of faith and dedication on the part of investors, though, and the production would have to be handled carefully lest it go the way of Rome– brilliant, but ultimately too costly.

And you thought the Sopranos had problems.

Still, the fact that Vaughn, who has been doing just fine for himself in the motion picture biz, is excited about tackling a television project of this size- that he even recognized that the property would do better in that format- makes me one happy camper.  He’s realized what plenty of us have long known to be true: Comic books are episodic, and are best presented that way.  HBO allows its shows the freedom to be faithful adaptations. If Sandman belongs anywhere, it’s there.

Source: MTV News