The Sandman on Netflix is different from the comic, but it's Neil Gaiman's desire

The Sandman on Netflix is different from the comic, but it's Neil Gaiman's desire ...

Whenever a book or comic is updated there is naturally a lot of discussion about what the changes mean. Did the snipping that comes with changing a book or comic to a show or movie make it better, worse, or different in a way that is unrecognizable? What does it mean when these changes come from the creator itself?

As they watch Netflix's The Sandman, which is based, of course, on Neil Gaiman's beloved comic book of the same name and developed for Netflix by Gaiman (along with showrunner Allan Heinberg), it may provide some relief, in a way, knowing that a creator has such a keen interest in a show that went through such severe development hell to get there.

As a result, I would ask Allan why he had written it, what I meant, and what he meant, Gaiman tells Polygon. You pick a character like Death, and you get to fall in love with her quite a bit.

Kirby Howell-Baptiste, a Black woman, captured Gaimans desire admirably; she was the kind of person who, as Death, could generously say, You know you should look both ways before you cross the street, and youd kind of like her for having said it. It's less that Howell-Baptiste, a Black woman, matches the character drawn so many decades ago, although Gaiman believes that's not always the case.

Gwendoline Christie embodied and acted like Lucifer in every way that Mike Dringenberg and Sam Kieth drew her in Sandman #4. So, the fact that she could also embody that Lucifer, Gaiman claims, is essential.

As the story moved to TV, Gaiman felt certain changes were necessary. The Sandman's episode centered on Death draws from the original comic The Sound of Her Wings and merges it with a short story called Winters Tale that Gaiman wrote. In other chapters, Sandman makes minor tweaks to the show's story, either by preserving a singular appearance for the castle of the Dreaming instead of an ever-changing castle.

In a Vanity Fair video discussing some modifications to the appearance of the Endless domains, Gaiman said: "We tried reproducing the comics exactly," and then we had to consider: "How would it work?"

The comic books were always the bible; sometimes they were more the Old Testament. We let things change, but the things that changed tended to change with the times or with the necessity to produce something for television.

Beyond that, many actors claim that they were given the freedom to make their roles work for them, working with Gaiman and Heinberg to create performances that were genuine to the purpose of the piece, the only thing that Gaiman believed was important to maintain.

I think that a lot of the fun in terms of room to play came from discovering the connections with other characters, because weve seen that on the page, but how does it work in real life? Howell-Baptiste says. For me, I used the source material in the comics because it's gold, basically, for my character.

So my reading was very instinctive. And from that, they appeared to really listen and want me to carry on with what I was bringing. So I just felt a lot of freedom and freedom from Neil and Allan to play and explore.

Jenna Coleman, who plays Johanna Constantine, agrees, although her character has changed dramatically from the book iteration. It was a deliberate effort for her Constantine, who is now recognized as at the top of her game and in service to the royal family.

Coleman says she believes it was a very deliberate choice and departure away from Neil and Allans' vision in terms of costume. Her callback audition was with Gaiman, which she says was like Ive never had such a green light in my entire life.

Im sure, you know, that many adaptations are so separated from their creators. Whereas [...] The Sandman is Neils' dream, both the 1989 comic for the beginning of it, and now, to this show that's on Netflix, Coleman adds. He has directly taken his work and reimagined it. And so for me, just having him around and knowing that we had his seal of approval allowed us to be much more liberated in our work.

Tasha Robinson has provided further information.