Neil Gaiman’s ‘Sandman’ Movie Pitch Art

3 years ago by  

Along with Alan Moore’s Watchmen and Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns, Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman is often held up as one of the great literary works to come out of comic books. It also cemented Gaiman as one of the most beloved fantasy/horror/sci-fi writers alive.

Throughout the years, various people have attempted to bring The Sandman to both the big and small screens, none of whom succeeded. At one point, Warner Bros. requested that Neil Gaiman pitch a Sandman movie to them, so he had the talented Jill Thompson illustrate the pitch. Now, that art is on sale.

Gaiman recently tweeted about the movie pitch and the sale, saying:

Some years ago, I had to pitch/explain SANDMAN to Warners. @thejillthompson illustrated the pitch. That art’s for sale

Check out the art below (click to enlarge):

And make sure to go to the online gallery to see the collection in its entirety (or, if you’ve got $800+ to spare, you could even buy a piece and hang it on your wall).

For those not in the know, Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman follows the adventures of Dream, A.K.A. the Lord of Dreams, A.K.A. the Dream King, and so forth, who is the literal personification of dreams. At the start of the series, Dream has accidentally been captured by a group of men seeking immortality – the intended victim was Dream’s sister, Death – and held prisoner for 70 years. Eventually, Dream escapes his occult shackles and hijinks, as ever, ensue.

As previously stated, there have been numerous attempts to adapt The Sandman as a film and TV series. The first attempt saw Pulp Fiction co-writer Roger Avary attached to direct, but he was soon fired by Jon “I want a giant spider in Superman Lives!” Peters.

In a 2005 interview, Neil Gaiman said of Jon Peters’ approach to making the Sandman film:

“It was really strange. They started out hiring some really good people and you got Elliott and Rossio and Roger Avary came in and did a draft. They were all solid scripts. And then Jon Peters fired all of them and got in some people who take orders, and who wanted fistfights and all this stuff. It had no sensibility and it was just…[the scripts] were horrible.”

Basically, Peters wanted Sandman to be like every other comic book movie. Which means he didn’t want Sandman at all.

Most recently, Eric Kripke (Supernatural) was in talks to bring The Sandman to television, but those plans eventually fell through, as well. Details are scarce as to why that was, but it was announced on Gaiman’s blog that while he and DC liked Kripke and his approach, it nevertheless “didn’t feel quite right.”

Though Geoff Johns announced a year ago that a Sandman TV series was still in the works, there seems to have been very little progress on that front in the many months since. That said, a new Neil Gaiman-penned Sandman comic book miniseries was announced at Comic-Con – to be released in 2013 – so perhaps the timing is better than ever for a movie or TV adaptation to come to fruition.

Would you like to see a Sandman film or TV show, Screen Ranters? Or should the property stay right where it is – in the comic books? Let us know in the comments.

Sources: Neil Gaiman’s Twitter & Cadence Comic Art Gallery

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  1. Neil Gaiman Sandman would make a wonderfully different kind of comicbook movie.

  2. The Sandman mythos is way too extensive to be told in one movie, and I somehow doubt it could survive as a prolonged movie series (seeing as how films with contents in a similar vein, like Terry Gilliam’s, don’t usually fare well at the box office; the first film in such a series would probably not garner enough attention to greenlight the sequels).
    It’s probably best that it’s left were it is.

  3. Keep it in the book. It’s too engrossing for one single movie or one single vision. The gloriousness of Sandman is the different visions and styles that pull it all together. I can’t really see that working out too well in a movie or a TV series.

  4. if there was to be a movie it should stand on it’s own as a side story that ties into the comics but also is understandable by those that never read it.

  5. That picture of Dream and Delirium on the plane looks great on the front page over the image of Bill and Ted. Oddly, I was just watching Beyond the Black Rainbow the other day and thinking Michael Rogers had the right look for the Sandman. Like the other posters already suggested though, the series may be too expansive for film production, and too visually demanding for television.

  6. I’ve never read this book so I can’t judge whether it could be effectively adapted to either medium. From what’s presented here I would think the first approach would be to let the audience know from the get go that this is a saga and that the current story is dropping the audience into this kind of thing. As a viewer if you know at the outset that it’s just a piece of a story of a life then it’s easier to forgive that…

  7. I would say, let them try, if something good comes out of it, great, if not, the graphic novel is still there for us who likes to read it every once in a while.

  8. As “Sandman” is one of my favorite graphic series and Gaiman is one of my favorite authors (comics or otherwise), I would absolutely LOVE to see Dream and his family on the screen (big and/or small). I do, however, understand other fans’ hesitation about the viability of such a project…it’s brilliant literature and needs to be treated as such.

    That said, with Gaiman scripting or AT LEAST closely consulting on the project (even better: getting Jill Thompson and Dave McKean to co-consult), I believe an excellent T.V. maxiseries (~12 or so episodes) or wonderfully deep and amazing duology or trilogy film series could be produced of the first storyline OR of “The Dreamhunters” storyline.

    It’s POSSIBLE to succeed…but will it be ALLOWED to succeed? THAT is my question.

    Of course, I’m also hoping for “Death: The High Cost of Living” and/or AMERICAN GODS…sigh.

  9. Way too involved and deep to be done justice in a mere 2hr movie (or even a trilogy) and way dark and costly because of the FX to be a decent TV show.

    The only way I could see this working would be through a pay cable channel producing it (ala Game of Thrones)

  10. A sandman tv version will be nice you know each episode will based on each issues from the comic book/graphic novel ,The cats will just be both british and american although death will be played by a american youth actress while sandman (dream) will be played by a british actor letsh ope he almsot resembles neil geilman in his 20’s or 30s.

  11. I would personally love to direct, but first time directors or independent directors don’t really get the chance and opportunity do they?

  12. I love the Sandman books. I’m sure Joseph Gordon-Levitt will be a fantastic director but I hope he’s not planning on playing Morpheus. Perfect casting would be…Neil Gaiman. Look at him – he is Morpheus and he wrote the freaking character although he had been around a little bit before Gaiman reworked it. This needs to be more than one movie.

  13. Sweet – there’s the Corinthian, John Dee, Delirium, Gilbert and possibly Rose Walker. Looks like most of the art deals with Preludes and Nocturnes and Dream’s capture. Cannot wait!