Neil Gaiman hated the script for The Sandman movie so much that he leaked it himself

The Sandman movie, leaked script

The first season of Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman is now streaming on Netflix, but Hollywood has been attempting to get the iconic comic-book series on the screen for decades. One of the first attempts was a Sandman movie set to be executive produced by Jon Peters, but Neil Gaiman hated the script so much that he purposefully leaked it in order to sabotage it.

In an interview with Rolling Stone, Neil Gaiman said that the script for The Sandman movie “was the worst script that I’ve ever read by anybody.” When someone from Jon Peters’ office called Gaiman to get his thoughts on the script, he didn’t hold any punches.

A guy in Jon Peters’ office phoned me up and he said, ‘So Neil, have you had a chance to read the script we sent you?’ And I said, ‘Well, yes. Yes, I did. I haven’t read all of it, but I’ve read enough.’ He says, ‘So, pretty good. Huh?’ And I said, ‘Well, no. It really isn’t.’ He said, ‘Oh, come on. There must have been stuff in there you loved.’ I said, ‘There was nothing in there I loved. There was nothing in there I liked. It was the worst script that I’ve ever read by anybody. It’s not just the worst Sandman script. That was the worst script I’ve ever been sent.’

A few of the “really stupid” ideas in the script for The Sandman movie included giant mechanical spiders (classic Jon Peters) and Lucifer, Morpheus, and the Corinthian being identical triplets. “They were a family of identical brothers,” Gaiman explained, “and it was all a race to see who could get the ruby, the helm and the bag of sand before midnight on 1999, before the new millennium started, because whoever got it would be the winner. That was the plot.” Neil Gaiman didn’t want the project to move further, so he decided to leak the script. “I sent the script to Ain’t It Cool News, which back then was read by people,” Gaiman said. “And I thought, I wonder what Ain’t It Cool News will think of the script that they’re going to receive anonymously. And they wrote a fabulous article about how it was the worst script they’d ever been sent. And suddenly the prospect of that film happening went away. And instead Jon Peters turned his attention to Wild Wild West.

The official synopsis for The Sandman:

There is another world that waits for all of us when we close our eyes and sleep — a place called the Dreaming, where The Sandman, Master of Dreams (Tom Sturridge), gives shape to all of our deepest fears and fantasies. But when Dream is unexpectedly captured and held prisoner for a century, his absence sets off a series of events that will change both the dreaming and waking worlds forever. To restore order, Dream must journey across different worlds and timelines to mend the mistakes he’s made during his vast existence, revisiting old friends and foes, and meeting new entities — both cosmic and human — along the way.

The Sandman is now streaming on Netflix, but despite its success, a second season is still uncertain.

Source: Rolling Stone

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Based in Canada, Kevin Fraser has been a news editor with JoBlo since 2015. When not writing for the site, you can find him indulging in his passion for baking and adding to his increasingly large collection of movies that he can never find the time to watch.