One thing you’ve got to love about larger-than-life fantastical stories existing in completely fictional universes is that they are ultimately rooted in reality. They are stories about human emotions. No matter how complex the narrative is, love is the core, the driving force, and the solution, more often than not, be Stranger Things, The Harry Potter franchise, or even the upcoming Netflix adaptation of The Sandman.
The Sandman is an exploration of humanity
Adapting 75 issues of graphics novel into a live-action series is no easy feat. One person who wholeheartedly agrees with this is the co-developer and producer of Netflix’s The Sandman, Allan Heinberg. He wrote an entire article on Den of Geek illustrating his journey of getting involved in “The universally beloved masterpiece written by Neil Gaiman.” After initial hesitation, Heinberg finally came aboard, and we now have The Sandman about to premiere on the streaming giant on the 5th of August.
According to Neil Gaiman, Allan Heinberg, and David Goyer, the core of the adaptation was very simple. “Why is it essential that we tell the story of The Sandman right now?” The answer to this question influenced “every creative decision” taken to complete the adaptation. Heinberg further explains, “The Sandman is an exploration of what it means to be human. To be mortal and therefore vulnerable. Capable of being hurt, but also capable of loving and being loved.”
Allan Heinberg emphasizes the need for Dream’s story
Allan reiterates the story of Dream AKA Morpheus AKA The Sandman as “the story of an honorable, arrogant king who slowly—very slowly—learns how to love. How to be a loving friend, a loving brother, a loving father.” The juxtaposition of basic human emotions shown from the perspective of immortal beings is fascinating, to say the least. And they are not just any beings but are personifications of metaphysical human concepts like Dream, Death, Desire, and more known as The Endless.
No matter how over the top the characters of these fantasy tales are, we, as audience members, always project our own experiences and feelings onto them. And the authors and show creators tap into that innate tendency, making the stories incredibly relatable. As Heinberg articulately said, “At this moment in our shared history, we are constantly being told how divided we all are. But the truth is, we all love a good story.” That’s what unites us. “Our stories and our dreams.”
Do you agree with Allan Heinberg’s sentiments? Regardless, his journey has definitely made us even more excited for The Sandman.