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Sandman puts film version to sleep, off to TV instead?

09.02.2010

Back in 2008 while celebrating the 20th anniversary of the release of "The Sandman," artist Neil Gaiman said that "a Sandman movie is an inevitability." Just two years later it looks as if that inevitability was actually quite evitable. As it turns out, Warner Bros. has put the kibosh on a film version and instead passed the rights off to the property to Warner Bros. TV who are in the early stages of developing the comic as a TV series.

Gaiman was first approached by Warner Bros. (who own DC, who run Vertigo, the imprint that published "Sandman") back in the early 90s, before he had finished the comic's run. He then begged the studio not to develop the movie until after he was finished. The closest the film ever came was a draft Roger Avary had worked on in the late-90s with Terry Rossio and Ted Elliott (who would go on to write the PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN films). While that iteration never got off the ground, Gaiman and Avary became friends and collaborated later on BEOWULF. A later script was widely panned with Gaiman saying it was one of the worst scripts he had ever read.

An HBO miniseries was in the works with James Mangold (KNIGHT & DAY) developing but now it looks as if Eric Kripke, creator of the popular CW series "Supernatural" is close to signing on to be the showrunner for the project. As of right now, Gaiman is not involved in any way with the project but WB hopes that will change once they move along with Kripke. (Kripke is said to be interested but hesitant because of the ardent devotion of the fans.)

Extra Tidbit: I read a lot of comics as a kid but never got into "Sandman" or "Death."
Source: THR

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8:32AM on 09/03/2010
A Sandman TV series could work. At least you'd assume Warner Bros. would spend more on it than the BBC did on Gaiman's "Neverwhere" - awesome ideas scuppered by cheap effects and video footage.
A Sandman TV series could work. At least you'd assume Warner Bros. would spend more on it than the BBC did on Gaiman's "Neverwhere" - awesome ideas scuppered by cheap effects and video footage.
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7:57PM on 09/02/2010
Hey, I'm a fan of Warner Bros. TV division right now. Big Bang Theory, Fringe, V, Chuck, Human Target, Smallville, The Closer... At least they are taking chances and keeping it interesting. Which incarnation of Sandman will be done?
Hey, I'm a fan of Warner Bros. TV division right now. Big Bang Theory, Fringe, V, Chuck, Human Target, Smallville, The Closer... At least they are taking chances and keeping it interesting. Which incarnation of Sandman will be done?
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3:38PM on 09/02/2010

Look. You have to admit that doing this on HBO or Showtime is the only way.

There's no way to condense that story that much into a 2-3 hour movie. A series is the best chance on doing it justice. It just has to be taken seriously, which Warner Bros has been doing lately. So don't panic yet.
There's no way to condense that story that much into a 2-3 hour movie. A series is the best chance on doing it justice. It just has to be taken seriously, which Warner Bros has been doing lately. So don't panic yet.
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1:07PM on 09/02/2010
Kripke should go back to Supernatural if he wants to be in television again.
Kripke should go back to Supernatural if he wants to be in television again.
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5:41PM on 09/02/2010
Uh, he still is doing Supernatural. On tv.
Uh, he still is doing Supernatural. On tv.
12:26PM on 09/02/2010
Warner Bros. TV Executive: "So we've got this SANDMAN thing and we want you to do something with it."

Eric Kripke: "Wow, that's quite an honor. This is a very beloved and important work."

Warner Bros. TV Executive: "Is it? I was looking for something to snort coke with and found this old script on my desk, figured we could do something with it.”

Eric Kripke: "It's a very layered, deep and meaningful text, sir."

Warner Bros. TV Executive: "I'm not following."

Eric Kripke: "We
Warner Bros. TV Executive: "So we've got this SANDMAN thing and we want you to do something with it."

Eric Kripke: "Wow, that's quite an honor. This is a very beloved and important work."

Warner Bros. TV Executive: "Is it? I was looking for something to snort coke with and found this old script on my desk, figured we could do something with it.”

Eric Kripke: "It's a very layered, deep and meaningful text, sir."

Warner Bros. TV Executive: "I'm not following."

Eric Kripke: "We need to be respectful to the source material."

Warner Bros. TV Executive: "That's the last thing we need to do. What can we change first?"

Eric Kripke: "Um..."

Warner Bros. TV Executive: "Oh, I've got it. I don't get why all these characters dress in black. Our audiences don't want to watch a bunch of mopey goths, let's give them new clothes – with DOUBLE RAINBOWS all over! Get it? Cause double rainbows are so in right now?"

Eric Kripke: "Er..."

Warner Bros. TV Executive: "And what's up with this crazy chick? I think they call her Delirium? We can't have crazy people on our show, it's way too offensive. I don't want letters from angry housewives. No, we'll have to get Amanda Bynes or Miley Cyrus to play a sassy yet calmer version of the character."

Eric Kripke: "I don't..."

Warner Bros. TV Executive: "As for this Death guy, I’ve got two words baby – Zac… Efron."

Eric Kripke: "I was thinking of going with an unknown..."

Warner Bros. TV Executive: "Maybe Ashton Kutcher..."

Eric Kripke: "..."

Warner Bros. TV Executive: "It's also way too dark. We need to punch up the comedy. Give the guy who made TWO AND A HALF MEN a call, he's hilarious."

Eric Kripke: "Sir, I..."

Warner Bros. TV Executive: "Oh, we're on a tight budget here, so you're gonna have to do all of this with nothing but elastic bands and a tub of peanut butter. Can you handle that?"

Eric Kripke: "I'm just going to go kill myself now."

Warner Bros. TV Executive: "You do that. BRENDA! Bring me that PREACHER script I saw floating around yesterday; I need something to wipe my ass with.”
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11:49AM on 09/02/2010
I'm seriously struggling to come up with the words to express how ill-advised this is. An HBO series MAY work, because of the money they'd be willing to spend and the creative risks they'd be willing to roll with... but to turn THE SANDMAN into a basic television series?

This isn't even a slightly good idea.
I'm seriously struggling to come up with the words to express how ill-advised this is. An HBO series MAY work, because of the money they'd be willing to spend and the creative risks they'd be willing to roll with... but to turn THE SANDMAN into a basic television series?

This isn't even a slightly good idea.
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11:42AM on 09/02/2010

Dear Warner Bros. Television

Whoever you choose to handle a Sandman TV series, let it be someone Neil Gaiman trusts. From Matthew Vaughn to Henry Selick, it's clear he has excellent taste in collaborators.
Whoever you choose to handle a Sandman TV series, let it be someone Neil Gaiman trusts. From Matthew Vaughn to Henry Selick, it's clear he has excellent taste in collaborators.
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9:58AM on 09/02/2010
Supernatural's alright and everything, but seriously, Eric f&#kin' Kripke as a showrunner for Sandman? Are they out of their goddamn minds? I thought the only way Sandman maybe could work in live action is a TV show, but not with Kripke.
Supernatural's alright and everything, but seriously, Eric f&#kin' Kripke as a showrunner for Sandman? Are they out of their goddamn minds? I thought the only way Sandman maybe could work in live action is a TV show, but not with Kripke.
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