Look, I know there are going to be legions of Neil Gaiman fans out there who are going to stage protests or something about his masterful graphic novel series getting made into a TV show. And there will probably be so many millions of complaints about each casting choice, script choice, things they've left out, what they've change, what they've added, etc. that it will probably make my head spin. And while I am sure that I'll have my own share of gripes at some point, at this very moment, as longtime fan of Gaiman's work, I'm feeling somewhat positive about the news. And that's mostly because Supernatural creator Eric Kripke is rumored to be attached to the project. He's obviously got experience with the genre and if there's a showrunner out there who can handle this mythology, it is probably him. My bigger concern will be which network the show ends up on since that could make a major difference when it comes to budget (this show needs one), casting (it can't all just be pretty people) and edge (you can't dumb this material down). With that in mind, I've looked into the future to see what The Sandman might look like on various networks.
This network might afford the show the option to go for broke since they have a seemingly endless (see what I did there?) budget for shows (unless they are Deadwood and Rome), but in turn there will have to be some sort of sexier element added in so it can get ratings like True Blood. Maybe Desire can run a prostitution ring? And Destruction will be required to have some ties to the Mafia. Other than that, they can continue on with the complex mythology, dream world and trips to hell.
If it lands here, Death is going to be played by Eliza Dushku or Summer Glau. Either way, there will be a lot of promos centered around her in tight black tank tops that zoom in on her ankh necklace. The show will be begrudgingly given a second season so the network looks like it cares about genre television, and then cancelled when bored mainstream viewers start leaving in droves because Death doesn't go around kicking ass all the time.
Instead of adapting one book per season, the show will probably get through about fifteen panels per episode. There will be lots of a brooding shots of Morpheus starring at various darkly lit spaces using as little dialogue as possible. (Actually, that might work for Preludes & Nocturnes). To save on budget costs, the show will be cast with talented but mostly unknown actors, Despair will be living in Breaking Bad's meth lab, Destiny will be camped out with his book in the basement of those Rubicon offices and the zombie extras from Walking Dead will be used as the residents of hell.
Do you think Morpheus knows how to text message? He'll probably have to learn on this show as the broody star will be forced to speak LOLcat as he gets texts from his family. Delirium will now be played as an adorable blonde cheerleader, Destruction will join a frat house and Death will be getting messages from folks who refuse to stay dead.
Milo Ventimiglia's bangs will actually get a chance to do something in what the network hopes will be their new Heroes. Naturally, knowing anything about the graphic novels that they are based on will not be a prerequisite for writers on this show (and Kripke will be ousted after one fabulous season). In some gender-blind casting, we see Hayden Panettiere as Death, Ali Larter as Desire, Jack Coleman as Destiny, Greg Grunberg as Despair, Masi Oka as Delirium and Zachary Quinto as Destruction.
The net will need something to fill the Smallville timeslot. Katie Cassidy (who The CW is bound and determined to find a role for, and who has previously worked with Kripke) will dye her hair black to play Death, while a soon to be out of work Tom Welling will be tapped to play Morpheus. Mark Pellegrino (a.k.a. Jacob from Lost and Lucifer on Supernatural) can again play the denizen of hell. And the rest of the cast will be filled out with unknown but very attractive Canadian actors.
Your dreams and nightmares for Sandman the series? Leave them below.
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