Neil Gaiman spent years preventing poor film and television adaptations of his beloved graphic novel The Sandman from ever getting the attention they deserve. So when he gave his approval for the new Netflix series, but also signed on as a co-writer and executive producer, followers knew they would be getting a faithful interpretation of the source material.
Despite this, fans immediately noticed a significant shift. The Sandman graphic novels, which were published by DC, existed firmly in the DC Comics universe, with characters occasionally interacting with beloved superheroes. However, Gaiman and co-creators David S. Goyer and Allan Heinberg opted to keep the series separate.
Gaiman explained why he chose the program in a new interview with Variety, saying that his original purpose for the program seemed to be becoming more incompatible with a reality in which superheroes exist.
The Sandman itself started out in the DC Universe, the comic, and then it just sort of wandered off into its own place, according to Gaiman. Its world became less and less a world in which costumed crime fighters fly around and so on, which meant that by the time The Sandman was completed, it had its own aesthetic that really wasn't the DC Universe anymore.
While the Netflix series made the decision to distinguish itself from the DC Universe, Gaiman believes that it retained the essence of his original comic books.
There were things about inclusivity. There were things about shared humanity. There were words of consolation and there were words of caution. And back then when I said them, I believed they were accurate and I believed it was appropriate to say them; including, you have your story and your lifetime. That's all I wanted to say.
The Sandman is now available on Netflix.