The Sandman: Neil Gaiman on Merv Casting & Respecting a Slow News Day

So the last time we checked in with Netflix's adaptation of The Sandman from creator, EP & co-writer Neil Gaiman (Good Omens); EP, co-writer & showrunner Allan Heinberg (Wonder Woman); and EP & co-writer David S. Goyer (Foundation), we were inching closer to the end of March and Gaiman was putting to rest a silly rumor that the series had been canceled. Flash ahead about three weeks later, and Gaiman is back offering an update on a much more reasoned & sensible subject. In this case, if Mervyn Pumpkinhead was going to be in the series, who would be giving him a voice, and how exactly he would be brought to life. First up, Merv is definitely in the show but they haven't released who would be voicing him, with Gaiman adding that they were "saving it for a slow news day" [Ed. Note: Thank you]. But for those assuming that Merv will be CGI? not so fast, with Gaiman responding to that assumption with, "What makes you think he's CGI, and not, say a puppet? Or someone made of sticks in a costume. With a pumpkin head." for the record? We're all about that last one…

Image: Screencap

"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 explained during an interview with Empire last month. And as the famed author sees it, it's that mix of themes, tones & styles that differentiates The Sandman from other fantasy series. "If you didn't like an episode of 'Game Of Thrones,' you probably won't like any other episode of 'Game Of Thrones,'" explains Gaiman. "With Sandman, it's all about surprising you. It's all about reinventing itself. It's all about taking you on a journey you've not been on before." Here's our first official look at a scene from Netflix's The Sandman:

A rich blend of modern myth and dark fantasy in which contemporary fiction, historical drama, and legend are seamlessly interwoven, The Sandman follows the people and places affected by Morpheus, the Dream King, as he mends the cosmic — and human — mistakes he's made during his vast existence.

"For the last thirty-three years, the Sandman characters have breathed and walked around and talked in my head. I'm unbelievably happy that now, finally, they get to step out of my head and into reality. I can't wait until the people out there get to see what we've been seeing as Dream and the rest of them take flesh, and the flesh belongs to some of the finest actors out there," said Gaiman in a statement coinciding with the initial casting news. "This is astonishing, and I'm so grateful to the actors and to all of The Sandman collaborators — Netflix, Warner Bros., DC, to Allan Heinberg and David Goyer, and the legions of crafters and geniuses on the show — for making the wildest of all my dreams into reality."

The Sandman announcement key art. (Image: Netflix)
The Sandman announcement key art. (Image: Netflix)

Stemming from Warner Bros. TV, Netflix's The Sandman stars Tom Sturridge, Gwendoline Christie, Vivienne Acheampong, Boyd Holbrook, Charles Dance, Asim Chaudhry, Sanjeev Bhaskar, Kirby Howell-Baptiste, Mason Alexander Park, Donna Preston, Jenna Coleman, Niamh Walsh, Joely Richardson, David Thewlis, Kyo Ra, Stephen Fry, Razane Jammal, Sandra James Young, and Patton Oswalt.

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About Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought onto the core BC team in 2017.
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