Only days after Neil Gaiman announced that Netflix's live-action The Sandman series will begin shooting in three weeks ("lockdowns permitting"), it looks like viewers may have their Morpheus aka Dream. Stemming from Gaiman, Allan Heinberg (Wonder Woman, Grey's Anatomy), David Goyer (Hellraiser, Constantine), and Warner Bros. Television Group, the series is apparently in talks with Tom Sturridge (Sweetbitter) is in talks to star (based on Collider reporting). Sources say that Sturridge tested along with Tom York (Poldark) and Colin Morgan (Merlin) earlier this year, with Sturridge apparently winning the part.
During the DC FanDome panel "The Sandman Universe: Enter the Dreaming" last month, Gaiman said the extra time that resulted from the COVID shutdown allowed the writers to "perfect" the scripts. Also, Gaiman revealed he had been receiving production designs for approval that were impressing him and that the adjusted Sandman timeline for the series will have the action taking place modern times, which will result in adjustments for modern technology and current trends, and different takes on characters and situations from the comics.
Heinberg will write and serve as showrunner on the series, with Gaiman set to executive produce alongside Goyer, with both having been attached to the original New Line feature film effort. 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. 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 with a direct-to-series order, seeing the series as a potential "tent pole" for the streamer as Game of Thrones was for HBO.