Creators: Neil Gaiman, David S. Goyer, Allan Heinberg
Stars: Kirby Howell-Baptiste, Jenna Coleman, Boyd Holbrook
Audiences have been waiting years for a proper adaptation of author Neil Gaiman’s “The Sandman 2022” and now we’re one step closer. As part of Netflix’s “Tudum” weekend fan event, which seemingly celebrates its programming while doubling as a one-day Netflix news takeover, they released the first images from the streamer’s upcoming live-action series.
Netflix’s tagline for the dark fantasy show reads: “A rich blend of modern myth and dark fantasy in which contemporary fiction, historical drama, and legend seamlessly intertwine, ‘The Sandman’ follows the people and the places affected by Morpheus, the King of Dreams, as he repairs the cosmic and human mistakes he has made during his vast existence.
The series announced its cast earlier this year, which includes Kirby Howell-Baptiste as Death and Mason Alexander Park as Desire. Death is billed as the “wiser, nicer, much more sensible sister” of the series’ protagonist, Tom Sturridge’s Dream of the Endless/Morpheus, while Desire is “the sister of Dream and whatever you want, whatever you want.” want and whoever you are”.
The series has already faced backlash on social media for casting Howell-Baptiste, who is black, in a role that was portrayed as white in the source material. Gaiman took to Twitter to quell cries that he didn’t care about his own graphic novel. “I don’t give a fuck about work,” Gaiman wrote on social media. “I spent 30 years successfully fighting off the bad ‘Sandman’ movies. I don’t care about people who don’t understand or haven’t read ‘Sandman’ complaining about a non-binary Wish or that Death isn’t white enough. Watch the show, make up your mind.”
Gaiman also shared a fan’s response to Park’s casting saying, “Desire in ‘Sandman’ was really the first time I encountered in fiction the idea that a person is non-binary. It helped when reality presented me with no non-binary people, some of whom I now know and love. I can’t imagine reading ‘Sandman’ and wanting Desire like anything else.” Gaiman later told a fan that he doesn’t think anyone who complains about a non-binary actor playing Desire has read “The Sandman”.