Whenever a novel or comic is released, there is naturally a lot of discussion about what the changes mean. Did the editing that comes with modifying a book or comic to a show or film make it better, worse, or different in a way thats unrecognizable? What does it mean when these changes came from the creator themselves?
The Sandman, based on Neil Gaiman's popular comic book, is likely to be on fans' minds as they watch it. It may be a source of relief, in a sense, knowing that a creator has such a large role in a show that went through deep development hell to get here.
When it came to a character like Death, I would say, OK, what is important in each scene? I would talk with Allan about why I was writing it, what I meant, and what mattered to me, Gaiman tells Polygon. You pick an actress who can actually convey the sweetness, who can convey the emotion, and the notion that you'll fall in love with her only a little bit.
Kirby Howell-Baptiste, a Black woman, captured Gaiman's notion perfectly; 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.
Gwendoline Christie is perfect in every way as Lucifer as drew by Mike Dringenberg and Sam Kieth in Sandman #4. That is important, but the fact that she can also embody that Lucifer, Gaiman adds, is what we need.
The Sandman's episode centered on Death takes a page from the original comic The Sound of Her Wings, or changes the show's episode 24/7 to create a distinct appearance for the castle of the Dreaming.
In a Vanity Fair video discussing some tweaks to the appearance of the Endless domains, Gaiman said: "Then we had to think: How would it work?"
The comics were always the bible, sometimes the Old Testament. We let things go, but the things that changed tended to evolve with the times or with the need to produce something for television.
Many actors claim that they were given the freedom to make their own voices for them, working with Gaiman and Heinberg to develop performances that felt genuine to the purpose of the project, the only thing that Gaiman believed was important to maintain.
Because weve seen it 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 basically gold for my character.
They gave me the script before they revealed who the character was. So my reading was very instinctual. And from that, they seemed to be willing to go along 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 significantly from the previous book iteration. It was a conscious choice for her Constantine, who is now recognized at the top of her game and in service to the royal family.
Coleman explains that it was a very deliberate choice to take on Neil and Allans' vision, and a very deliberate change and departure away from costume. Gaiman's callback audition was almost like her first in my life.
Im sure, you know, that so many adaptations are so different from their creators. Whereas [...] The Sandman is Neils' dream, both for the beginning of it, and now, for this program that is 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 additional reporting.