The Sandman is different from the comic it's what Neil Gaiman wanted

The Sandman is different from the comic it's what Neil Gaiman wanted ...

Whenever a novel or comic is released, there is naturally a lot of discussion about what the changes mean. Did the snipping that comes with altering a book or comic to a show or movie make it better, worse, different in a way that isn't obvious? What does it mean if the changes come from the creator themselves?

As they watch Netflix's The Sandman, which is based, of course, on Neil Gaiman's popular comic of the same name, and developed for Netflix by Gaiman (along with showrunner Allan Heinberg), it may provide some relief in some ways, considering that a creator has gone through so much development hell to get to this point.

As in Polygon, there were moments where we'd say, OK, what is important in each scene? I'd talk with Allan about why a scene had been created, what I meant, and what it was that mattered to me, Gaiman says. You pick a character like Death, and you'll fall in love with her just a little bit.

Kirby Howell-Baptiste, a Black woman, captured that perfectly in Gaimans mind; 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 you'd kind of like her for having said it. It's less that Howell-Baptiste, a woman, matched the character drawn so many decades ago, though Gaiman said that wasnt always the case.

Gwendoline Christie seemed to perform perfectly as Lucifer in Sandman #4. That's all she could do, though, but she could also be a brilliant and formidable person, Gaiman says. That's what we need.

As the story moved to television, Gaiman felt that changes would be 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, which Gaiman wrote. In other chapters, Sandman makes alterations to the shows episode 24/7, or cementing a singular look for the castle of the Dreaming instead of an ever-changing castle.

In a Vanity Fair video discussing some changes to the appearance of the Endless domains, Gaiman said, "We tried reproducing the comics exactly," but it didn't work. And then we had to consider: How would it all work?

The comic books were always the bible, although occasionally they were the Old Testament. We let things change, but the things that changed tended to change with the times or with the need to adapt something to television.

Many actors claim that they were given the freedom to make their characters work for them, working with Gaiman and Heinberg to get performances that felt authentic to the work's core, the only thing Gaiman felt was important to maintain.

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

So my read was very instinctual. And from that, they seemed to respond and want me to carry on what I was bringing. So I just felt a lot of freedom and liberation from Neil and Allan to play and explore.

Jenna Coleman, who plays Johanna Constantine, agrees, although her character is much different from the book iteration. For her Constantine, who is now recognized at the top of her game and in service to the royal family, it was a deliberate choice to accept the change for the character.

Coleman says she believes it was a very deliberate choice and departure away from Neil and Allans' ideas in terms of costume. Gaiman's callback audition was like hers in her entire life.

Im sure that many adaptations are so isolated from the original. Whereas [...] The Sandman is Neils' dream, both the 1989 comic for the beginning of it, and now, with this show 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 libre in our work.

Tasha Robinson provides further reporting.