After years of attempts to develop Neil Gaiman's classic Sandman comic to the screen, Netflix has signed with Warner Bros. Television to bring it to life with a direct-to-series order. The deal is said to represent a "massive financial commitment" and DC Entertainment's most expensive television project to date.
First published in 1989, The Sandman is an abstract and visually stunning DC Comics comic book series from Gaiman that centers around a character who embodies all dreams. However, the overall story is a bit too dense for a single brief summary. The classic comic has undergone several attempts to bring it to the big screen since the 1990s, most recently with New Line's attempts in 2016. Gaiman and Goyer had been paired as Executive Producers on that last effort alongside Eric Heisserer who was serving as screenwriter.
According to THR, Gaiman, who created and wrote the original comic, will serve as executive producer alongside Constantine and Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice scribe David Goyer. Wonder Woman writer Allan Heinberg will serve as showrunner and writer. While the formal deal has not yet been finalized, Netflix and Warner Bros. appeared confident enough to not disavow the news, however they did not yet have particulars yet available, such as episode counts or a projected premiere date.
UPDATE: Netflix has now made the news official. Check out their tweet, below:
The rumors are true. The tangled story of Morpheus, King of Dreams is becoming a Netflix series! Warner Brothers and executive producer Allan Heinberg (Wonder Woman screenwriter) have signed on to bring the dream of Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman into reality. pic.twitter.com/cOMjPL5cqp— NX (@NXOnNetflix) July 1, 2019
Netflix has redoubled its pursuit of large established properties with Marvel pulling back its IP off of the streamer in favor of the latter’s focusing on content for the upcoming Disney+. Netflix’s willingness to throw a large financial commitment behind Sandman reaffirms their conviction to genre programming. While Warner Bros. is also preparing to launch their own streaming offering later this year, they are also currently in talks with J.J. Abrams for a production deal worth half a billion dollars, so any near-term revenue infusions will help make closing that deal easier.
Gaiman has seen a number of successes recently on the small screen, with Starz adapting his American Gods novel, which is going into its third season, and the Amazon limited-series Good Omens, which Gaiman co-wrote with Terry Pratchett. Sandman has long been expected to be a potential windfall for the studio which could successfully bring it to the big or small screen. Between its original 75-issue series, spinoff series, one shots, and a passionate fandom, there’s plenty of content to work into one or more ongoing series.
Update Source: Netflix