Ever since the first issue of Neil Gaiman’s Sandman was published in 1989, there have been attempts to adapt it for the screen – and over the years the author has not concealed the fact that he actively thwarted plans that he did not think will do justice.
Not only was Netflix’s ten-episode shoot of the material a credit to him, but Gaiman was actively involved in its creation. But that didn’t stop actor Tom Sturridge, who plays the titular Dream, and Vivienne Acheampong, who plays Dream’s friend Lucienne, from feeling the pressure on the set.
“He did this with us. He wrote the first episode, and [showrunner] Alan [Heinberg] And David Goyer,” Sturridge told Total Film. “He was watching every frame of every piece we made. He’s always there, if not for the physical reasons of COVID, but because of Zoomily. It’s true of everything, but yeah, it’s not going to put you at ease because it’s something I care a lot about. I’m a huge fan myself, you know, the burden of people’s dreams is very real, but Knowing that everything we do is somehow guided by its creator is very reassuring, of course. “
Also starring Boyd Holbrook, Kirby Howell-Baptiste, David Thewlis, Jenna Coleman and Gwendoline Christie, Sandman Direct Elevated storyline from Gaiman’s graphic novel. It follows the dream of a powerful cosmic being as he travels to different worlds – from hell to modern London – to retrieve his tools and restore balance after being imprisoned by a ruthless magic user for over a century.
As it turns out, the latter has been trying to catch Reaper in hopes of resurrecting his dead son, but the spell goes awry. Morpheus was in the mix – his absence caused chaos throughout the universe. Fortunately for the performers, most of the scenes are practical, allowing them to fully immerse themselves in the story’s high-fantasy feel.
“It’s one of the most amazing things about this job. I remember the first time I walked into Lucienne’s library and thought, ‘Oh my God, this is absolutely incredible.’ I just wanted to touch everything,” Acheampong said with a smile.
“That’s why this show is so successful. The creativity behind the show is absolutely incredible because it’s so detailed, so real, that it brings out the truth. Yes, it’s epic. But there needs to be truth in it. It works because you’re talking about human nature. So only the things that really need green screen are green screen and special effects, and they’re just as wonderful. But it’s very, very real and tangible. For me, as an actor, in that way The work is so exciting.”
“Stories like this already require an extraordinary leap of imagination. Not having to do this to everything is incredible. I mean, the talking crow is a real crow. Lucifer’s lair has been built; the fire is real,” Sturridge added. “The marble columns are real, the frescoes on the walls are painted. It makes a big difference.
“I think the other important thing is that when we dream, we usually don’t know we’re dreaming because it’s real to us,” he explained. “I think the danger with something like this is that you start treating it like some kind of computer game that you’re not connected to. They really want these spaces to be within reach and feel like a dream, even though it sounds like a contradiction.”
Sandman is now ready to stream. If dark fantasy isn’t your thing and you’re overwhelmed by the sheer volume of content on stream, then check out our guide to the best Netflix shows for some viewing inspiration.