This will either be great news or a disappointing report, depending upon what sort of fan you are of Neil Gaiman‘s landmark comic book series Sandman. Do you want to see the stories adapted into a new medium, or not? Last year we heard that Warner Bros. TV was developing a TV series based on the comic, with Supernatural‘s Erik Kripke a top choice to lead the project.
Yesterday a brief interview surfaced in which Mr. Kripke said that the project was dead. Specifically, he said, “Unfortunately, for a lot of varying reasons, Sandman is not in the works, at least for this season. I retain hope that maybe sometime in the future we can resurrect it.”
Now it sounds as if Sandman was never quite dead. Geoff Johns, writer and Chief Creative Officer for DC Comics says that development continues.
Today, Geoff Johns said via Twitter,
Correction to world: The Sandman is AWAKE! :) Psyched to be working with @neilhimself on developing one of the greatest series ever!
The @neilhimself mentioned in the tweet is Neil Gaiman, so that’s a good thing. As Geoff Johns said in a follow-up tweet, “Sandman in any form – comics to live action – doesn’t work without [Neil]”
There is a pretty serious split amongst Sandman fans over whether a TV or film adaptation is really a good idea. Neil Gaiman has said himself that he’d rather see no adaptation than a bad one, and the fact that he is involved in development is a good thing. The film script that did the rounds many years ago was resoundingly terrible, so we’ll hope for a much better outcome this time. Television is certainly a more fitting medium than film for the great breadth of stories told in the series, which features a great many characters whose interconnected lives are represented in great detail.
In the best possible world this series might be a companion to the comic series rather than a straight adaptation of the material within. That could be a way to tell the story without being forced into budget compromises which would necessarily limit the vision of the series when it came to recreating some of the more fantastic elements of the comics. But it might also require more direct participation from Neil Gaiman than he is willing to give. We’ll be quite curious to see what comes of this.