Neil Gaiman Tells How Netflix Filmed The Unfilmable Comic, His Baby ‘The Sandman’

Neil Gaiman Tells How Netflix Filmed The Unfilmable Comic, His Baby ‘The Sandman’

If 32 years of waiting could produce something like Neil Gaiman’s comic book adaptation, The Sandman, it’s worth the wait. A masterpiece in cinematic aesthetics, the series sure is a visual treat for all the comic fans out there. From story-building and pacing to character performances, and all the other minor details, this on-screen recreation of Gaiman’s work, rather ‘legacy,’ is something we have longed to witness since time immemorial. It probably has everything a fantasy nerd would ask for: gods, more gods, monsters, real-life historical individuals, talking animals, and magic. And while being unique in its own self, the show pays sincere homage to Gaiman’s work.

But did you know bringing it to our screens wasn’t as easy as binging all the ten episodes overnight was? Ever since its initial years, Gaiman has sweated blood to get it re-created in an absolutely beautiful way. Did you know that Warner Bros. even rejected him because his comic had no properly defined villains such as those in Harry Potter or Lord of The Rings? And after that, within the span of 3 decades or so, many renowned writers pitched different scripts for a ‘Sandman movie,’ but nothing matched Gaiman’s expectations. This was apparently because a movie could never do justice to the 3000-paged narrative. But now that it is in Netflix’s hand, Gaiman is finally relieved.

ALSO READ: Netflix Is the Savior and the Devourer of Neil Gaiman’s ‘The Sandman

“My baby is going off to school,” he says while talking to BBC culture. “My baby is learning how to drive. It was awful worrying about those previous Sandmans.” Now if you are wondering how Netflix adapted this visual-heavy series, here’s what the writer got to say.

Here’s how Netflix’s comic adaptation series, The Sandman came to life

The Sandman finally escaped 30-plus years of turmoil when Netflix adapted it into a series. Gaiman believes that “Sandman needs time. If somebody had ever tried to make a movie of Game of Thrones, that wouldn’t have worked either. You need space for a big story. You need time to care about characters.” They have so far brought only 400 pages to our screens out of a total of 3000. Further, bringing in Neil Gaiman himself helped the producers a lot. Co-runner, Allan Heinberg said, none of the ‘other Sandman projects’ had the writer himself on board. Having Gaiman has helped them find their Morpheus for one.

Furthermore, adapting comic panels into long scenes was a hell of a task for the creators of The Sandman. The adaptation of 24 Hours, for instance, which follows John Dee as he holds a diner hostage and uses Morpheus’ ruby to puppeteer its patrons, proved to be extremely challenging. It is a sinister and unsettling tale that began as a sort of official writing assignment for Gaiman: 24 hours, 24 pages. According to Heinberg, they didn’t have a narrator walking audience through the scene. “We really wanted the characters to interact with each other. We wanted you to be able to fall in love with them and invest in them before the darkness descends. So Neil basically just gave us as writers permission to reimagine how we told the story,” added Heinberg.

“There’s lots of other books I’ve written, lots of awards,” says Gaiman“but Sandman totals 3,000 pages and pretty much each of those pages took four pages of writing to describe to an artist. So, you’re talking 12,000 pages that I wrote over 33 years. I want this thing done right and beautiful and so far it is.” It sure came out to be Netflix’s evocative sumptuous-looking triumph.

ALSO READ: This Hilarious ‘The Sandman’ X ‘Selling Sunset’ Tweet Will Leave You Rolling on The Floor

Have you binged through its ten episodes yet? And are you also in need of revolting with all the other denizens of Dreaming? Do let us know in the comment section below.

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