Update, May 13: Neil Gaiman has confirmed more tantalizing details about the very first adaptation of sandman beyond comics, including the all-important release date: July 15, 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.
While no audio samples have yet been released, Gaiman took the opportunity to confirm the main cast members, with Gaiman taking an unsurprising turn as the narrator of the story. The massive cast reveal kicks off with celebrities like Riz Ahmed (venom† Rogue One), Kat Dennings (2 broke Girls), Taron Egerton (Rocketman, Kingsman series), Andy Serkis and Michael Sheen, with James McAvoy at the center of it all as Morpheus. The full cast announced is enclosed in the gallery above, and you can learn more about the comic’s unique audiobook adaptation below.
Last summer, we reported that a TV adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s groundbreaking graphic novel series, the sandman, was in development at Netflix. Now comes news that in the meantime we’re getting a multi-part audio drama adaptation of the series, via Audible Original. Audio Adaptations of Beloved Properties Used to Be Rare – NPR’s 1981 Radio Drama of the Original Star Wars trilogy comes to mind. But in an era where we all use podcasts on a regular basis, such adjustments make sense.
The audio drama is directed by Dirk Maggs, who also directed the audio drama adaptations of Good omens— which Gaiman co-wrote with the late Terry Pratchett, and adapted Amazon into a miniseries last year — and Gaiman’s novel, Anansi Boys† The author will narrate herself, as well as act as creative director and executive producer. No voice cast has been announced yet, but given Gaiman’s bona fides, expect to see (erm, hear) a lot of big names in the mix. Here’s Gaiman’s official statement (via Nerdist) about the project:
“Almost 30 years ago Dirk Maggs approached DC about adaptation the sandman in audio form. It didn’t happen (although it was how Dirk and I first crossed paths) and I’m glad it didn’t because we are now in a Golden Age of audio drama, and Dirk and I are much better at what we do are doing.
This is a rich audio adaptation of the sandman graphic novels, brilliantly crafted by Dirk Maggs, with an all-star cast. I loved being there to talk about casting, there to read the scripts and give advice every now and then, and there in the studios, watching magic and recording the story. I can’t wait for the world to hear what we’ve done.”
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 will cover the first of the ten parts of the series, Preludes and nocturnes, in which 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 held the Sandman captive). From there, according to the official synopsis, “Morpheus sets out on a quest to reclaim his lost power items and rebuild his empire.”
That should persuade Lord Morpheus’ acolytes until the Netflix series finally sees the light of day. Of course there are still people who persist the sandman is essentially unfilmable, even with today’s advanced technology. An earlier film adaptation was so bad that Gaiman thought it was “not just the worst” sandman script I’ve ever read, but quite easily the worst script I’ve ever read.” But the Netflix project sounds more promising, as Gaiman will serve as executive producer for the series, along with David Goyer, whose filmography is nothing to sneeze at. Bee.
Listing image by YouTube/DC Comics