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Seemingly contradictory announcements last week left fans confused, and more than a little anxious, about a planned television adaptation of The Sandman.
It began when Supernatural creator Eric Kripke, said to be Warner Bros. Television’s top choice to develop the acclaimed Vertigo series, was quoted as saying the project had stalled “for a lot of varying reasons.” And that, it seemed, was that. Well, at least until the following day, when DC Entertainment’s Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns tweeted, “Correction to world: The Sandman is AWAKE! Psyched to be working with @neilhimself on developing one of the greatest series ever! […] Sandman in any form — comics to live action — doesn’t work without @neilhimself.”
That left it to Neil himself — The Sandman creator Neil Gaiman, naturally — to clarify matters a little.
“I saw a bunch of press about whether there is or isn’t a Sandman TV series,” Gaiman wrote Tuesday night on his website. “As far as I know, nobody has actually optioned Sandman as a TV series from DC Comics, who own it. Eric Kripke (of Supernatural fame) pitched his approach to DC and to me last year, and we liked it and we liked him, but it didn’t feel quite right at that point, so we passed. I think that this year the people at DC Comics (and me) will talk to a lot of people who want to make a Sandman TV series, and if we find the perfect person with the perfect way of treating the material, it’ll happen. And otherwise it won’t.”
Published from 1989 to 1996, The Sandman became the flagship of DC’s Vertigo imprint, spawning numerous spin-off titles, including The Dreaming, three Death projects and the long-running Lucifer series. Although a critical and commercial success, The Sandman has had a rocky relationship with Hollywood, where a movie adaptation had languished in development since the mid-1990s. At one point DC was in talks with HBO and writer-director James Mangold to develop a TV series, but that effort ultimately went nowhere.