We’re only a week or so away from the official release of the sandman, a multi-part audio drama adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s groundbreaking graphic novel series, via Audible Original. And we also have a new teaser for the drama, directed by Dirk Maggs. Maggs also directed the audio drama adaptations of Good omens and Gaiman’s novel Anansi Boys†
For the uninitiated, the titular “sandman” is Dream, also called Morpheus, among other names. He is one of the seven entities known as the Endless, and he tries to right his past mistakes. The other Endless are Destiny, Destruction, Despair, Desire, Delirium and Death, portrayed as a perky punk/goth young woman – they became almost as popular as Dream itself and were featured in several spin-off comics.
The audio drama includes the first three of the ten parts of the series: Preludes and nocturnes† The dollhouseand dreamland† The series begins when Morpheus, the king of dreams, escapes from a 70-year prison term by an occultist (who actually wanted to capture Dream’s sibling Death, but accidentally imprisoned the Sandman). From there, according to the official synopsis:
When The Sandman, aka Lord Morpheus – the immortal king of dreams, stories and imagination – is pulled from his realm and imprisoned on Earth by a nefarious cult, he languishes for decades before finally escaping. Once free, he must retrieve the three “tools” that will restore his power and help him rebuild his rule, which has deteriorated during his absence. As the multi-threaded story unfolds, The Sandman descends to hell to confront Lucifer (Michael Sheen), hunts down evil nightmares that have escaped his realm, and crosses paths with a slew of characters from DC comic books, ancient myths and real world history including: prisoners of Gotham City’s Arkham Asylum, Doctor Destiny, the muse Calliope, the three Fates, William Shakespeare and many more.
In May, Gaiman confirmed that he will serve as the narrator of the story, and he announced the main characters of the cast: Riz Ahmed (venom† Rogue One) as The Corinthian, Kat Dennings (2 broke Girls) as Death, Taron Egerton (Rocketman, Kingsman series) as John Constantine, Andy Serkis as Matthew the Raven and Sheen (Good omens)) as Lucifer, with James McAvoy at the center of it all as Morpheus.
As this is an audio drama, the 30-second trailer is light on screen, emphasizing McAvoy’s sonorous voiceover. “I’m a passenger,” McAvoy/Morpheus says as sand swirls across the screen. ‘I’m going through your dreams. All your dreams. And you never knew.’
There is of course also a TV adaptation of sandman in development at Netflix, with Gaiman serving as an executive producer for the series, along with David Goyer, whose filmography is nothing to sneeze at. But in April, we learned that production on the series – like pretty much everything else – had been halted due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“The scripts for the first season were written, casting was started, directors hired, sets were built. Everything was ready to go into production and then we went on a break,” Gaiman wrote on Tumblr in response to a fan question. “Once the world is ready to make TV drama, sandman will be made back in smoothly. In the meantime, we’re taking the opportunity to get the scripts as good as possible.”
the sandman audio drama will be released on July 15, 2020, exclusively on Audible. Fans can pre-order the collection as a $35 standalone purchase or receive the entire thing as part of a paid, ongoing Audible subscription.
Listing image by YouTube/DC Comics