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WIRE Buzz: Neil Gaiman narrating Sandman audio drama; Baby Yoda toys delayed again; more

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Mar 4, 2020, 9:14 PM EST (Updated)

Neil Gaiman is lending his pipes to a multi-part audio drama adaptation of his famous Sandman comics, Audible announced today. Dirk Maggs, a frequent audio adaptation collaborator of Gaiman's, adapted the source material and is also serving as director and executive producer.

“Almost 30 years ago, Dirk Maggs approached DC about adapting The Sandman into audio form. It didn't happen ... and I'm glad it didn't happen, because we are in a Golden Age of audio drama right now, and Dirk and I are much better at what we are doing,” said Gaiman in a statement. "This is a rich audio adaptation of The Sandman graphic novels, brilliantly crafted by Dirk Maggs, with an all-star cast. I've loved being there to talk casting, there to read the scripts and offer occasional advice, and there in the studios, watching magic get made and recording the narration. I can't wait until the world hears what we've done."

The story begins when Morpheus, aka the Sandman, aka the King of Dreams, is captured by an occultist looking for his older brother, Death. After being imprisoned for seven decades, Morpheus escapes and sets off on a quest to reclaim his powerful totems and rebuild his kingdom of dreams.

Check out a teaser snippet below:

"This audio iteration of The Sandman is huge in scope and ambition and based exclusively on Neil's original notes and scripts for his iconic DC series. Our production dives deep into Neil's imagination, as if he is writing these tales beside us, lifting out details and story elements few have been privy to until now,” added Maggs. “Audio uniquely complements the comic book artists' visual imagination and Neil's creative brilliance, while our amazing cast and Jim Hannigan's music add new emotional punch. This project's three-decade incubation period has been worth every minute of the wait. It's the very essence of Neil Gaiman's Sandman."

Part I is set to premiere sometime this summer.


The coronavirus outbreak is causing problems with Hasbro's production in China, including its already-delayed Baby Yoda toys, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

"The occurrence of these types of events can result, and in the case of the coronavirus has resulted in, disruptions and damage to our business, caused by both the negative impact to our ability to design, develop, manufacture and ship product (the supply side impact) and the negative impact on consumer purchasing behavior (the demand side impact)," Hasbro, one of Disney's licensees, said in an SEC filing this week.

Credit: Lucasfilm

While Hasbro declined THR's request for comment on specific brands, the outlet is theorizing that any products being made in China (where the virus first began), including Baby Yoda toys, will most likely be delayed. The toys, which are (were?) meant to arrive this spring, were purposefully kept from the public in order to avoid spoilers for Season 1 of The Mandalorian TV series.

The first season of The Mandalorian is currently streaming on Disney+. A second season is already in production and scheduled to arrive on the streaming service this fall. 


Before he returns to Pandora in Avatar 2, Sam Worthington will confront a deadly population boom of great white sharks in Voltage Pictures' Alphas.

Helmed by Steven Quale (a second unit director on the first Avatar and full director on Final Destination 5), the film centers on environmentalist Gavin McDade (Worthington), who convinces a former killer whale trainer to use orcas in an effort to rid the local waters of man-eating Carcharodon carchariases. The erstwhile trainer, who now runs a killer whale sanctuary, was nearly killed by an orca in a Sea World-type show years before, but reluctantly agrees.

Credit: Voltage Pictures

The plan takes a sharp left turn when our heroes discover that (and now this is the official synopsis talking) "there’s a female alpha great white lurking beneath the surface capable of destroying" the initial batch of young orcas sent to curb the shark surplus. "With nowhere else to turn and with his rebellious sister’s surf competition quickly approaching, [Gavin] must convince the former trainer to unleash the same creature that nearly killed her in what will become the greatest battle of apex predators the oceans have ever seen."

Sooooooo, this is the Jaws-Free Willy crossover we've been waiting for, right?

Penned by Frank Hannah, Alphas is currently in preproduction.


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