We’re just a week or so away from the official release of The Sandman, a multi-part audio drama adaptation of Nail Gaiman’s seminal graphic novel series, via Audible Original. And we also have a new teaser for the drama, directed by Dirk Maggs. Maggs also directed the audio drama adaptations of Good Omens and Gaiman’s novel Anansi Boys.
For the uninitiated, the titular “sandman” is Dream, also called Morpheus, among other names. He is one of seven entities known as the Endless, and he is seeking to set right his past mistakes. The other Endless are Destiny, Destruction, Despair, Desire, Delirium, and Death, portrayed as a perky punk/goth young woman—they became almost as popular as Dream himself and were featured in several spinoff comics.
The audio drama will cover the first three of the series’ ten volumes: Preludes and Nocturnes, The Doll’s House, and Dream Country. The series opens when Morpheus, the King of Dreams, escapes from a 70-year imprisonment by an occultist (who actually wanted to capture Dream’s sibling Death but trapped the Sandman by mistake). From there, per the official synopsis:
When The Sandman, also known as Lord Morpheus—the immortal king of dreams, stories and the imagination—is pulled from his realm and imprisoned on Earth by a nefarious cult, he languishes for decades before finally escaping. Once free, he must retrieve the three “tools” that will restore his power and help him to rebuild his dominion, which has deteriorated in his absence. As the multi-threaded story unspools, The Sandman descends into Hell to confront Lucifer (Michael Sheen), chases rogue nightmares who have escaped his realm, and crosses paths with an array of characters from DC comic books, ancient myths, and real-world history, including: Inmates of Gotham City’s Arkham Asylum, Doctor Destiny, the muse Calliope, the three Fates, William Shakespeare, and many more.
In May, Gaiman confirmed that he will serve as the story’s narrator, and he announced the cast’s principal players: Riz Ahmed (Venom, Rogue One) as The Corinthian, Kat Dennings (2 Broke Girls) as Death, Taron Egerton (Rocketman, Kingsman series) as John Constantine, Andy Serkis as Matthew the Raven, and Sheen (Good Omens) as Lucifer, with James McAvoy in the middle of it all as Morpheus.
This being an audio drama, the 30-second trailer is light on visuals, focusing on McAvoy’s sonorous voiceover. “I am a passenger,” McAvoy/Morpheus intones as sand swirls across the screen. “I am moving through your dreams. All your dreams. And you never knew.”
There is also, of course, a TV adaptation of Sandman in development at Netflix, with Gaiman serving as an executive producer for the series, along with David Goyer, whose filmography is nothing to sneeze at. But we learned back in April that—along with pretty much everything else—production on the series had been halted due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“The scripts for the first season are written, casting had started, directors hired, sets were being built. Everything was ready to go into production, and then we moved into a pause,” Gaiman wrote on Tumblr in response to a fan’s query. “As soon as the world is ready to make TV drama, Sandman will move smoothly back into being made. In the meantime, we are taking the opportunity to get the scripts as good as we can.”
The Sandman audio drama will be released on July 15, 2020, exclusively on Audible. Fans can pre-order the collection as a standalone $35 purchase or receive the whole thing as part of a paid, ongoing Audible subscription.
Listing image by YouTube/DC Comics