One day later, and it's official: Netflix has ordered an 11-episode series for The Sandman, based on Neil Gaiman's DC Comics-Vertigo comic book series Sandman and stemming from the Warner Bros. Television Group. The move comes more than three years after an effort to bring the work to the big screen via New Line fell through, with the live-action series marking the most expensive television series DC Entertainment has moved forward on during its time.
Allan Heinberg (Wonder Woman, Grey's Anatomy) will write and serve as showrunner on the series, which received a direct-to-series order. Gaiman is set to executive produce alongside David Goyer – with both having been attached to the original New Line feature film effort.
"We're thrilled to partner with the brilliant team that is Neil Gaiman, David S. Goyer and Allan Heinberg to finally bring Neil's iconic comic book series, The Sandman, to life onscreen. From its rich characters and storylines to its intricately built-out worlds, we're excited to create an epic original series that dives deep into this multi-layered universe beloved by fans around the world."
– Channing Dungey, VP-Original Series, Netflix
Gaiman took to Twitter to retweet DC Comics' series announcement, as well as field a few questions from curious fans (right after the author corrects some news reporting):
Gaiman's multi-genre tale centers on Morpheus, the Lord of Dreams, and the Endless, the powerful group of siblings: Destiny, Death, Destruction, Despair, Desire and Delirium. Based on reporting from The Hollywood Reporter, Warner Bros. shopped the television project to a number of networks and streaming services – including "family member" HBO, who reportedly passed on the series based on the expected price tag attached. Netflix made the winning bid, seeing the series as a potential "tent pole" for the streamer as Game of Thrones was for HBO.
"There are definitely things that get made when the time is right. I don't think it would have been possible to make a good Sandman, when they started trying to make a good Sandman. [Ted] Elliott and [Terry] Rossio wrote their first Sandman scripts in 1996. At the time, I was looking at it and going, 'This is impossible to make. Nobody is going to spend $100 million on an R-rated, effects-heavy, cerebral fantasy story. It can't happen.' At least not back then. But on the other hand, I've gone through 25 years of people saying, "So, Sandman is going to get made now." I've learned to go, 'Yeah, okay, I'm looking forward to it.'"