Netflix’s "The Sandman" is “all about surprising you”

As we reread our copies of "The Sandman," here's what Neil Gaiman says about the upcoming series

Published March 4, 2022 3:45PM (EST)

Tom Sturridge as Dream in "The Sandman" (Netflix)
Tom Sturridge as Dream in "The Sandman" (Netflix)

This story originally appeared on Winter is Coming.

There are a lot of exciting TV shows on the horizon for 2022: "House of the Dragon," "The Rings of Power," "Obi-Wan Kenobi". . . but the one I may be most curious about is Netflix's "The Sandman."

Why am I so intrigued? Because Neil Gaiman's comic book "The Sandman" is a fascinating, layered piece of work that's stood the test of time, and I'm eager to see if finally come to the small screen.

I'm also wondering how Netflix can possibly pull it off, because the story is weird and wild. It's about Dream, one of several immortal siblings who are anthropomorphic personifications of different aspects of the human condition. As if that summary weren't odd enough, the comic goes to a lot of strange places: in one stretch Dream goes to Hell to get back something he lost, in another we visit a serial killer convention, at another point we check in on William Shakespeare at the debut performance of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" . . . it's just all over the place, and I wonder if the bounds of a Netflix TV show will be too constrictive.

Neil Gaiman compares "The Sandman" to "Game of Thrones"

According to Gaiman himself, that variety is the show's strength. "You watch Episode 1 and think, 'Oh, I get this thing: it's like "Downton Abbey," but with magic,'" he told Empire. "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."

For the record, I'm guessing that Episode 5 adapts the horrifying "24 Hour Diner" storyline and that Episode 6 is about Dream hanging out with his sister Death, who's the most well-adjusted, chill character in the series.

But anyway, back to variety: "If you didn't like an episode of 'Game Of Thrones,' you probably won't like any other episode of 'Game Of Thrones,'" Gaiman continued. "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."

See Tom Sturridge as Dream in Netflix's "The Sandman"

All that and Empire debuted a new image from the show featuring Tom Sturridge as Dream and Vivienne Acheampong as Lucienne, the librarian of the Dreaming:

Dream looks like the mopiest emo sadboi in the universe. It's perfect.

We don't have a release date for "The Sandman" yet, but we know it's coming sometime this year.

By Dan Selcke

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Brief Game Of Thrones Neil Gaiman Netflix The Sandman Winter Is Coming