For those counting down the days until Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman series (in production, in one form or another, for decades at this point) arrives on Netflix, your thirst is finally being quenched. At the streaming platform’s Tudum global fan event today, Gaiman, along with actors Tom Sturridge (Dream) and Kirby Howell-Baptiste (Death), revealed the mind-bending first look at the long-awaited fantasy series. The series is based on the author’s graphic comic book novels of the same name, which were first published by DC Comics from 1989-1996. It will blend modern myths, contemporary fiction, and historical legends in a dark, fantastical series.
Like the comics, the show opens in the distant past and follows Dream (Sturridge), one of the seven Endless, immortal siblings who represent various parts of metaphysical existence. At the opening of the original comics, Dream is captured in an occult ritual and, after being held captive for 105 years, he escapes in and sets out to restore his kingdom of the Dreaming. On the plus side, it looks like he missed all of 2020—lucky fella.
The first clip from the series—introduced by Sturridge, who is really nailing the “Intense, brooding dude” vibe—walks through those opening moments, including our first glimpse at Sturridge as Dream himself.
The Sandman has a stacked cast lineup. Game Of Thrones star Gwendoline Christie plays Lucifer. Gaiman has previously stated he considered Tom Ellis for the role after he’s played it for six seasons on Lucifer, but the show’s character is too distinct from the books, and The Sandman’s Lucifer had to be different.
Boyd Holbrook plays the Corinthian, Charles Dance is Roderick Burgess, Sanjeev Bhaskar and Asim Chaudhary play Cain and Abel, David Thewlis is Doctor Destiny, Jenna Coleman is occult detective Johanna Constantine, Stephen Fry plays Gilbert, and Patton Oswalt voices the raven Matthew.
The Sandman’s premiere date is still TBA.
Update, 12:27 p.m., 9/25/21: True to Howell-Baptiste’s word, Netflix has now started unveiling posters showing off the various members of the Endless on its social media accounts. Here’s our first look at her as Death, Mason Alexander Park as Desire, and a clearer look at Sturridge as Dream: