It’s been a good summer for fans of Neil Gaiman’s seminal fantasy comic book series The Sandman. Last week, Audible released The Sandman: Act II, a continuation of the audio adaptation. However, Netflix has something much more ambitious in the works with its live-action Sandman series. During its Tudum online event, the streaming service debuted the first clip from the series, which features Tom Sturridge as Dream/Morpheus.
Within the mythology of the series, Morpheus is one of the Endless, seven siblings who embody the universal concepts of Dream, Destiny, Death, Destruction, Desire, Despair, and Delirium. The preview clip features Game of Thrones veteran Charles Dance’s Roderick Burgess as he and his cult undertake a dangerous ritual to capture Death herself. Unfortunately for Dream, he’s the one who falls into their trap. And there he remains for decades until the series picks up in the present.
When Dream emerges from captivity after more than a century, he will seek to reclaim the power that was stolen from him. He will also have to bring order to his kingdom, the Dreaming, a realm where humanity’s dreams are real. Nonbinary actor Mason Alexander Park (who also stars in Netflix’s Cowboy Bebop) is portraying Desire, an intergender sibling who seems to hate Dream and enjoys toying with him. Donna Preston is also a part of the series as Despair, another sibling among the Endless.
Logan co-star Boyd Holbrook will appear as The Corinthian, a nightmare in human form who has escaped from the Dreaming. Fortunately, many of Dream’s allies remain in his kingdom, including the librarian, Lucienne (Vivienne Acheampong), and Matthew (Patton Oswalt), a raven emissary who was once a man. The eternally feuding brothers, Cain (Sanjeev Bhaskar) and Abel (Asim Chaudhry) are also Dream’s servants in the Dreaming.
Another GoT alum, Gwendoline Christie, co-stars as Lucifer, the ruler of Hell, who also has a grudge against Dream. Former Doctor Who star Jenna Coleman will portray Johanna Constantine, a sorceress whose famous relative, John Constantine, recently wrapped up a multiseason stint on DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. Finally, David Thewlis (who played the Ares in Wonder Woman and both Justice League films) will appear as John Dee, a supervillain known as Doctor Destiny who has seized Dream’s Dreamstone and selfishly uses its power to torment others.
Gaiman is executive producing the series with Allan Heinberg and David S. Goyer, both of whom have previous comic book experience under their belts. The Sandman will likely premiere on Netflix in 2022, but a specific release date hasn’t been announced yet.