The upcoming Starz television adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s novel American Gods is already getting great reviews and tons of positive buzz from fans. This has led many to speculate on the possibility of American Gods showrunners Bryan Fuller and Michael Green taking on perhaps Gaiman’s most beloved opus of all– DC Comics’ epic fantasy series The Sandman as their next television project. Warner Brothers, who owns the Sandman property, has tried for years to adapt the property into a film, with no results.
Gaiman’s The Sandman ran for 75 issues, from 1989-1996, with specials and mini-series having come out since then. Considered one of the greatest comic books of all time, The Sandman centered on Dream, also known as Morpheus, who is one of the seven members of The Endless, who are all anthropomorphic personifications of concepts like Delirium and Destruction. Among the other members of the Endless include his sister Death, a character who is just as popular as Dream is. Gaiman’s story takes us through various worlds and eras, and most consider it too epic for a film.
The most recent attempt was from Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who was set to star and direct in a big-screen adaptation as of two years ago. But after months of trying to find a way to squeeze the epic story into a two hour time frame, the actor gave up, and admitted that the property was best suited to television and not film. Since that announcement, there has been no more movement on a Sandman movie. Could it be possible that a TV show is in the works?
Well, not yet. But it seems the same creative minds currently behind American Gods, would really, really like a crack at it. In an interview with Yahoo promoting American Gods, Gaiman said “I’m hoping that the success of American Gods will show Time Warner [owner of DC Comics] that maybe something as huge and shapeless and strange as Sandman would be best suited to television.”
Bryan Fuller completely agreed with him, saying that bringing the 75 issue saga of Dream and the Endless to live-action in a long form television series would be a dream project. “Those comics are so filled with so much story, and so much humanity and such visual candy — try to stop us if we have half the opportunity.” And it doesn’t seem that Fuller was just saying that because an interviewer asked him. Fuller took to Twitter afterwards and said the following, making it clear that he’s serious about wanting to do this show:
The tide seems to be turning in Hollywood towards the realization that most long form book or comic book series are best suited for television adaptations and not films. The Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events book series has found more success on Netflix than it ever did in the movies, and Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles books are also coming to television soon, after the attempt at condensing two novels into one movie with Queen of the Damned resulted in total failure.
DC Comics’ Y: The Last Man is supposedly also headed to television after years of failed attempts at adapting it for film. The studios are finally realizing that for some properties, TV is truly where it’s at. Although for some reason, Frank Herbert’s Dune is still going to be a movie again, and not a long form cable series. That property should be the next Game of Thrones, not the next Star Wars.
Maybe the only obstacle towards The Sandman being successful on TV is that unlike properties like Y: The Last Man, Gaiman’s saga of Morpheus and his family is very visually elaborate, and would require more sets and special effects to create the world of the Endless properly. But while it may be hard, it’s not impossible, especially if Warner Brothers is willing to spend the proper amount of money on it. When you have a creative duo like Bryan Fuller and Michael Green itching to do this series justice, I say you let those guys have a crack at it.
What do you think of the possibility of a Sandman television series? Better than a film, or do you think this is one story that should remain a comic? Let us know your thoughts down below in the comments.
Images: DC Comics
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