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Netflix's upcoming Sandman television series is the stuff that dreams are made of. Literally. Based on the Vertigo Comics title of the same name that Neil Gaiman created alongside artists Sam Kieth and Mike Dringenberg, the upcoming series will follow Morpheus/Dream (played by Tom Sturridge) the immortal lord of sleep who is forced to rebuild his kingdom after he's held hostage by an arcane society.
"With Sandman, it's all about surprising you," Gaiman told Empire for the magazine's April 2022 issue. "It's all about reinventing itself. It's all about taking you on a journey you've not been on before."
Despite the overt fantasy elements of the story, Gaiman (who serves as a writer and executive producer) insisted that The Sandman shares no DNA with contemporary shows in the genre like Game of Thrones, The Witcher, or The Rings of Power.
"It's nothing like any of those things for a start!" he exclaimed. "It's not taking place in an imagined world. It's taking place in this one ... You watch Episode 1 and think, 'Oh, I get this thing: it's like Downton Abbey, but with magic.' Then you'll be wondering, 'What the hell is this?' by Episode 2, when you're meeting Gregory the Gargoyle in The Dreaming. Episode 5 is about as dark and traumatic as anything is ever gonna get, then you've got Episode 6, which is probably the most feel-good of all the episodes."
Gaiman also discussed the steady success of the original comic, which has "achieved Game of Thrones numbers," he said. "But it's done that over 35 years." It's unclear when The Sandman will awake on Netflix. The streamer, which has yet to announce a specific premiere date, released a small bit of footage at the end of September during its virtual TUDUM fan event.
"I stand here before you beyond anything else as a supreme fan of Sandman," Sturridge said while introducing the teaser. "These are books that I adore, I revere, and I love. To have the opportunity to live inside of them for these past few months has been the great privilege of my career. When I found out I'd been asked to play Dream, I was terrified of a moment like this because I know how important he is to you. Simply because of how important he is to me. All I ever wanted to do was honor that passion — for Neil and for all of you."
The supporting cast includes: Gwendolyn Christie (Lucifer), Sanjeev Bhaskar (Cain), Asim Chaudhry (Abel), Charles Dance (Roderick Burgess), Vivienne Acheampong (Lucienne), Boyd Holbrook (The Corinthian), Kirby Howell-Baptiste (Death), Mason Alexander Park (Desire), Donna Preston (Despair), Johanna Constantine (Jenna Coleman), Niamh Walsh (young Ethel Cripps), Joely Richardson (modern day Ethel Cripps), David Thewlis (John Dee), Kyo Ra (Rose Walker), Razane Jamma (Lyta Hall), Sandra James-Young (Unity Kinkaid), Stephen Fry (Gilbert), and Patton Oswalt (Matthew).
Allan Heinberg (Wonder Woman, Grey’s Anatomy) serves as showrunner, writer, and executive producer. David S. Goyer (Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, Foundation) is a writer and executive producer.