Neil Gaiman, 61, had to trust his younger self in order to adapt the long-awaited cinematic adaptation of his influential comic novel “The Sandman.” The author adds of Gaiman, who created the “Sandman” series starting in 1989, “You kind of knew what you were doing and we had to trust you.”
The Netflix dark fantasy (streaming August 5) attracted a crowded panel on Saturday at Comic-Con, despite the adaptation’s various iterations and the fan base’s expansion over the years. Morpheus, the ruler of the Dreaming realm who is captured and imprisoned for a century, is portrayed by Tom Sturridge in “The Sandman.”
Morpheus (also known as Dream) finds out after he escapes that his absence has an impact on both the dreaming and waking worlds. He embarks on a mission to atone for his previous transgressions, battle the evil nightmare known as The Corinthian (Boyd Holbrook), and reconnect with his Endless siblings, Death (Kirby Howell-Baptiste) and Desire (Mason Alexander Park).
Sturridge, who had read extensively through the first “Sandman” comic, said of the program, “What’s wonderful about our show is every episode is a film, an altogether separate story within this coherent world.” I’m so invested in this work of writing, and the only way to appreciate it is to immerse yourself in Neil’s words and imagery.
Sturridge repeatedly read it till it became buried in his bones and blood. Gwendoline Christie, who plays Lucifer Morningstar on “Game of Thrones” (hell’s ruler, by the way), also used the comic as a bible:
David Bowie’s early days as a teenage folk singer, according to Gaiman, served as inspiration for Lucifer’s original appearance: “A junkie angel who is androgynous. The junkie angel is abundant with Gwendoline.”
Reading the comic book as the pandemic was just getting underway, Christie felt a personal connection to “Sandman.” An intrinsic fanciful, mystical quality (quality). It leads you on a trip but also incorporates spirituality, much like “Star Wars.” You are taken elsewhere.
“The concept of being the very embodiment of evil through these people’s eyes,” she found amusing. Christie cited Gaiman and executive producer Allan Heinberg as having given her the freedom to bring her own ideas to the role of Lucifer.
“When I read Neil’s lovely words, images in my head come to life. It spells a lifetime of disappointments for me because Lucifer was God’s favourite and has now been expelled. In the first round of thousands of prospective Dreams, Sturridge was identified by producers who went straight to Christie for “Sandman,” but it took hundreds of Deaths before they discovered Howell-Baptiste.
“We thought of her as Death. We felt that viewers would fall in love with Death on screen in the same way they do in the comics, and that she could actually impart some wisdom to Tom Cruise’s Morpheus.
According to Howell-Baptiste, by giving Death a human appearance, “there’s a hopefulness instead of what we generally see, which is doom and gloom.”
When you’re at your most vulnerable, you want someone to soothe you or take you out for a drink. Three decades have passed since “Sandman” was first written, but Gaiman noted, “I’ve been extraordinarily blessed that nobody wanted to change what I was doing.”
James McAvoy narrated an audiobook that was quite authentic, and DC let him to continue writing the original comic as he had been. And he is expecting that a committed fan base would now inform all of their friends about the new Netflix program
According to Gaiman, “from my perspective, we’re making ‘Sandman’ as yoghurt starting to go out and transform the whole world into yogurt.”