Netflix finally unveiled the first footage from the highly-awaited series adaptation of Neil Gaiman's acclaimed graphic novel, The Sandman.
During the streaming platform's Tudum fan event, The Sandman cast members Tom Sturridge (Dream) and Kirby Howell-Baptiste (Death) revealed the first teaser for the upcoming 11-episode live-action TV series.
In the clip, we see Roderick Burgess, played by Charles Dance, as he tries to summon and imprison Death by offering various items like a coin made from a stone, a feather pulled from an angel's wing, and even the blood from his veins.
As the magician proceeds with the ritual, a body then appears before him. But as Burgess uncovers the iconic mask from the individual, he then realizes that the one he had summoned is not Death, nor her siblings Desire, Destiny and Despair, but Dream himself.
During the online event, Gaiman, who is one of the executive producers of the show, shared that the "decades-long gestation" for an adaptation of The Sandman was "a bit of a blessing" as the time spent in bringing his magnum opus to life allowed them to ensure that the upcoming series "was true to the comics."
"Adapting The Sandman for this series has been a labor of love," Gaiman said. "I've been working with the team at Netflix since day one with the goal of shaping a story that's authentic to what makes it the Sandman story that people love, while also giving us a wider perspective on this world than ever."
Gaiman also described the adaptation of his graphic novel as "astounding," saying that the production set of the series was like "walking around inside the comics."
"Everything from the sets, to the costumes, to the effects felt it had been plucked from my imagination," Gaiman said.
Aside from Sturridge and Howell-Baptiste, the upcoming series' cast members include Gwendoline Christie (Lucifer Morningstar), Vivienne Acheampong (Lucienne), Boyd Holbrook (Corinthian), Sanjeev Bhaskar (Cain) and Asim Chaudhry (Abel).
Meanwhile, Allan Heinberg (Wonder Woman, Grey’s Anatomy) is serving as showrunner and executive producer of the project alongside David S. Goyer (Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, Krypton, Foundation) and Gaiman.
Several attempts have been made to adapt Gaiman's Sandman into a film since the 1990s. Before the series landed on Netflix in 2019, Joseph Gordon Levitt was initially attached to star and direct in a film adaptation. However, he eventually left the project because of creative differences.
“For the last thirty-three years, the ‘Sandman’ characters have breathed and walked around and talked in my head. I’m unbelievably happy that now, finally, they get to step out of my head and into reality," Gaiman previously said in a statement. “I can’t wait until the people out there get to see what we’ve been seeing as Dream and the rest of them take flesh, and the flesh belongs to some of the finest actors out there.”
Netflix describes the upcoming adaptation as a rich blend of modern myth and dark fantasy in which contemporary fiction, historical drama and legend are seamlessly interwoven.
The Sandman follows the people and places affected by Morpheus, the Dream King, as he mends the cosmic and human mistakes he's made during his vast existence.
A release date for Netflix's highly-anticipated series is yet to be announced.
(Images from Netflix)