Netflix’s ‘The Sandman’ Debuts Stunning First Look at Dream in Opening Scene From Neil Gaiman Adaptation
Dream, Death and Desire are all finally coming to Netflix .
Thirty-two years after DC Comics published the first issue of “ The Sandman ,” Neil Gaiman ’s phantasmagoric dive into the world of dreams, Netflix unveiled the first look at its highly anticipated live-action adaptation on Saturday.
Stars Tom Sturridge — who plays Morpheus, a.k.a. Dream, the titular ruler of Dreaming — and Kirby Howell-Baptiste — who plays Death, Dream’s chic and easygoing sister — revealed the first look during Tudum , Netflix’s global virtual fan event.
Executive produced by Gaiman, David S. Goyer, and showrunner Allan Heinberg (“The Catch,” “Scandal”), “The Sandman” is updating Gaiman’s graphic novel by setting it in the present day, rather than in the late 1980s (as Audible’s ongoing audiobook adaptation of “The Sandman” is doing). The story follows Morpheus after he’s escaped 105 years of imprisonment on Earth by occultist Roderick Burgess (Charles Dance) who, when attempting to capture Death in 1912, captured Dream instead. Upon his escape, Dream must reclaim the three totems of his power — his pouch of sand, his helm (which looks like an elaborate gas mask), and a ruby — before he can reconstitute and rebuild the dilapidated Dreaming world.
Given the vast, intricate narrative and visual complexities of “The Sandman,” the title has vexed would be filmmakers from adapting it as feature film. Most recently, Joseph Gordon-Levitt was attached to star and direct, but left over creative differences. Ultimately, Netflix picked up “The Sandman” as a TV series, which Warner Bros. Television and DC Entertainment are producing.
When introducing the first look at the series, Gaiman said the “decades-long gestation” for the series was “a bit of a blessing,” allowing him to ensure the series was “true to the comics.”
“What astounded me through this process was how often it felt like I was walking around inside the comics,” Gaiman said. “Everything from the sense to the costumes to the effects felt it had been plucked from my imagination.”
Gaiman then turned things over to Sturridge, who introduced himself as “beyond anything else as a supreme fun of Sandman.” The actor then debuted a first look at one of the opening sequences from the show, when Burgess captures Dream. You can watch it below.
Along with the first look video, Howell-Baptiste pointed fans to character posters for Dream, Death and their third sibling, Desire (Mason Alexander Park). You can see them below.
Other characters on “Sandman” will include:
Lucifer (Gwendoline Christie), the androgynous ruler of Hell, who attempts to keep Dream from reclaiming one of his totems. A version of the same character headlined the popular series “Lucifer,” starring Tom Ellis, which just premiered its final season on Netflix.
John Dee, a.k.a. Doctor Destiny (David Thewlis), an Arkham Asylum inmate who comes into possession of Dream’s ruby.
The Corinthian (Boyd Holbrook), one of Dream’s nightmares who has two small mouths where his eyes should be, usually covered with sunglasses.
Lucienne (Vivienne Acheampong), the librarian of the world of Dreaming (and has been gender swapped from Lucien in the comics).
Cain (Sanjeev Bhaskar) and Abel (Asim Chaudhry), the sons of Adam and Eve and, respectively, the first murderer and the first murder victim, who now live in Dreaming and are locked into an unending loop recreating Cain’s murder of Abel.