2019 is certainly the year of Neil Gaiman. In fact, the last few years have been rather kind to the British author, who has seen a number of his properties adapted to TV shows. First we got Lucifer, then American Gods, and most recently Good Omens premiered on Amazon – which Gaiman also produced.
But now it looks like Gaiman’s best-known comic book property is making its way to Netflix as a new original series. Via the Hollywood Reporter:
Neil Gaiman’s beloved Vertigo comic Sandman is finally coming to the screen.
More than three years after New Line’s failed attempt to turn the graphic novel into a feature film, Netflix has signed what sources describe as a massive financial deal with Warner Bros. Television to adapt the best-seller into a live-action TV series. Sources familiar with the pact note it is the most expensive TV series that DC Entertainment has ever done. The drama has officially been picked up with an 11-episode order.
Allan Heinberg (Wonder Woman, ABC’s The Catch, Grey’s Anatomy) is set to write and serve as showrunner on the straight-to-series drama. Gaiman, who created the ongoing monthly comic, will executive produce alongside David Goyer. Gaiman and Goyer were both attached to New Line’s most recent attempts to adapt Sandman for the big screen. Gaiman, Goyer and Heinberg will co-write the premiere.
Sandman has long-lingered in development hell, as numerous attempts to make it into a movie since the 1990s have floundered. But the long-form format of a TV series or limited series seems a better fit for the source material.
It’s interesting to note that other big cable channels and streamers passed on the show due to its massive budget requirements. However, the huge price tag for Sandman doesn’t seem to concern Netflix, who are desperately looking for more original content as all the studios pull their movies and TV shows for their own streaming services, making original series that attract and retain subscribers even more important.
Ironically, Warner Brothers – which owns the Sandman IP and is producing the show – is planning to launch its own streaming service, but chose to sell the rights to Netflix as a way of generating some much-needed revenue ahead of the launch of its streaming platform.
My one concern about this news is David Goyer’s involvement. Left to his own devices, Goyer is a terrible writer and mucks up the shows he’s involved in. (Please refer to DaVinci’s Demons for reference.) However, perhaps his collaboration with Gaiman and the influence of Allan Heinberg will help temper his poorer instincts. (Plus, this is an adaptation, so as long as the source material is followed, it should be fairly hard for him to screw up.)
What do you think of this news? Are you excited about a Sandman original series? What do you think of Gaiman’s other adaptations so far? Let us know in the comments!