Though not quite as cursed as the New Mutants movie, which received numerous release date shifts and rumored behind-the-scenes setbacks before getting sidelined by the coronavirus and the closing of all movie theaters, Neil Gaiman’s Sandman has proven similarly difficult to actually make. Screenwriter Eric Heisserer was on board to make a movie just after potential star Joseph Gordon-Levitt dropped out, but he also eventually dropped out because, like Gordon-Levitt, he disagreed with what the studio—New Line—had in mind for the project. He also specifically said that the story should be a TV show, which Netflix finally agreed with years later when it hired screenwriter Allan Heinberg to make a Sandman TV show, throwing what was reportedly a ton of money at Warner Bros. for the rights and enlisting David S. Goyer as an executive producer. (Some curses you bring upon yourself.)
That was almost a year ago, and we haven’t heard anything since. You’d be forgiven for thinking Sandman had drifted back into development hell, much like Dream when he was imprisoned and those jerks took all of his fancy toys, but Gaiman says that Netflix’s Sandman was actually moving forward… right up until this damn coronavirus came along. In a Tumblr post (via /Film), Gaiman explained that the adaptation is “kind of hibernating right now” because all TV productions have been shut down, but before the virus hit the entire first season had been written, casting was underway, directors had been hired, and sets were being built. Basically, everything was ready to go, and it will theoretically be ready to go again once we get on the other side of this pandemic.
Netflix has already committed to one 11-episode season, but it remains to be seen just how well Heinberg and Gaiman and Goyer will be able to capture some of the (to put it one way) fucked-up shit that happens in the comic in this new format.