Netflix’s Sandman TV series: Tom Sturridge eyed for lead

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Neil Gaiman is working on a live-action Sandman Netflix show after his triumphant Audible release…

Neil Gaiman’s Vertigo comic Sandman was picked up by Netflix last summer for a big TV adaptation. New Line Cinema previously tried to get a movie version off the ground, but Netflix made a deal with Warner Bros to bring the comic to life as a series for the streaming service.

Pirate Radio and Far from the Madding Crowd star Tom Sturridge is reportedly in line to lead the live-action show as Dream, according to Collider. The British actor was originally up against Tom York (Poldark) and Colin Morgan (Merlin) for the part, and has apparently emerged victorious.

Gaiman has recently overseen the creation of a stacked Audible version of the Sandman comic, and that’s helped him understand what might – and might not – work when adapting the comic for the small screen.

“In a scientific experiment, this [the Audible series] would be the control [group],” Gaiman explained to Collider. “It’s like, ‘Okay, here’s the one where we’re not going to change anything. We’re going to adapt it, but we’re going to keep it the same.’ This allows [showrunner] Allan Heinberg and [executive producer] David Goyer and I to have conversations where I can actually say, ‘Ah, okay, now if you want to do that, we’ve done that in the Audible version, and this is how it works. But I think maybe we could actually take it over here or maybe we could do this.’

“And it’s very liberating actually, having one that is the pure control that means that we know where the doors are open for Netflix and where we can go, ‘Okay, well, this character is male in the original, is there any particular reason why this character has to be male? Oh, there was no point at which this character desperately needs to use their penis to stir tea or something. Let’s change that and see.’ And you just get to start playing and then that takes you to really interesting places too.”

If you’re unfamiliar with Sandman, it’s the rather unforgettable tale of forces that exist beyond life and death, which are weaved with ancient mythology, folklore and fairy tales. Gaiman says that even if you’re a huge fan of the comics, there will be some surprises in store.

“I think that if you are somebody who loves the original comics, you will love the Netflix series. And I think if you are somebody who knows the original comics, well, you will have an absolute advantage plot-wise in the Netflix series. But much like something like Game of Thrones, while you will have an advantage, you will not always be one step ahead. You will have an advantage, but there may well be places where we go and do something that you are really not expecting or where we go and go, “Okay, well, that was how we did it. We’ve already done that. What would happen if we did this instead?”

More soon.