Sandman: Neil Gaiman himself prevented a planned “Sandman” film from being released

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Before Neil Gaiman’s “Sandman” comics became a hit series on Netflix, a film about Dream and his siblings was planned. But the project was prevented by Gaiman himself!

  • Sandman” author Neil Gaiman often praises and promotes the Netflix series of the same name.
  • But it could have turned out differently, because a once planned “Sandman” film adaptation did not suit Gaiman at all.
  • So Gaiman took his luck into his own hands – and prevented the film.
Sandman: Neil Gaiman himself prevented a planned "Sandman" film from being released
The Sandman © Netflix

Successful comic series don’t remain unfilmed for long. This is more true today than ever before, but even in the nineties, promising originals were very popular in Hollywood. So it’s no surprise that Neil Gaiman’s “Sandman” comics have found their way onto the big screen several times.

But the projects always failed, sometimes the ambitions exceeded the budget and sometimes they simply could not agree. The latter happened when film producer Jon Peters wanted to turn “Sandman” into an action movie. Gaiman, who never read the full script, was not thrilled, as he reveals to Rolling Stone in an interview.

I remember that they called me. And I’m usually polite and nice when people call me. I try to say something positive to people who call me. And a guy from Jon Peters’ office called me and said, “So Neil, have you had a chance to read the script that we sent you?” And I said, “Well, yeah. Yes, I have. I haven’t read it all the way through, but I’ve read enough.” He said, “So, pretty good, huh?” And I said, “Well, no. It’s really not.” He said, “Oh, come on. There must be stuff in there that you like.” I said, “There wasn’t anything in there that I liked. There was nothing I liked. It was the worst script I’ve ever read by anybody. It’s not just the worst “Sandman” script. It was the worst script I’ve ever been sent

So Dream, Lucifer and the Corinthian were supposed to be identical triplets in the movie, all trying to get their hands on the Ruby, the Helmet and the Sand before the new millennium begins. So the story from the comics was completely ignored, plus there were going to be giant mechanical spiders because they fascinated movie producer Peters.

Since Peters didn’t have to rely on Gaiman’s approval, the film might have gone into production just the same – if Gaiman hadn’t taken matters into his own hands. He secretly sent the script to the website Aintitcoolnews.com, which was a fixture in film coverage at the time.

As a result, an article appeared that completely trashed the “Sandman” script, putting the film project on hold. Jon Peters then turned his attention to “Wild Wild West” – a science fiction western with giant mechanical spiders.

Ultimately, the series format is probably best suited for “Sandman,” and Gaiman is completely satisfied with the Netflix production in any case. The success of the series speaks for itself, so a second season is likely.

Sandman: Cast

The Sandman
The Sandman © Netflix

In the leading roles you will see Tom Sturridge (“Sweetbitter”) in the role of Dream and the great “Game of Thrones” actress Gwendoline Christie as Lucifer.

Other roles in “Sandman” include Jenna Coleman (“Doctor Who“) as Johanna Constantine, Stephen Fry (“Kingdom”) as Gilbert and Kirby Howell-Baptiste (“The Good Place”) as Death himself.

In addition, you’ll hear Patton Oswalt (“The Goldbergs”) as Matthew the Raven and see Charles Dance (“The Crown“) as Roderick Burgess, Boyd Holbrook (“Narcos”) as the Corinthian and David Thewlis (“Fargo”) in the role of John Dee.

Fans will also be pleased to see the casting of nonbinary performer(s):in Mason Alexander Park (“Cowboy Bebop”) as Desire.

In other roles you’ll see:

  • Vivienne Acheampong as Lucienne
  • Sanjeev Bhaskar as Cain
  • Asim Chaudhry as Abel
  • Sandra James-Young as Unity Kincaid
  • Razane Jammal as Lyta Hall
  • Donna Preston as Despair
  • Kyo Ra as Rose Walker
  • Joely Richardson as Ethel Cripps
  • David Thewlisals John Dee
  • Niamh Walsh as Young Ethel Cripps
  • Nina Wadia as Fate Mother