Neil Gaiman Reveals Misguided Plot Of Abandoned "Sandman" Film Adaptation

by Brett White

Author Neil Gaiman appears on the latest episode of The Empire Film Podcast, where he tells a tale that is most terrifying - that of the thankfully never produced film adaptation of "Sandman."

Comic Book Movie has provided a transcript of the plot, which just sounds disastrous.

"We also dodged a bullet on the worst of all the Sandman scripts," says Gaiman. "It was so bad, I couldn't even get to the end of it. I read about five to ten pages and went 'I can't bear this.' And I later read a summary of the plot on Ain't It Cool News because somebody there got hold of the script, and I just felt sick the whole way [through]."

"The Sandman," originally published by DC Comics' mature readers imprint, Vertigo, was written by Neil Gaiman and ran from 1989-1996. The series' titular character is the personification of dreams, who is also one of the seven powerful beings known as the Endless. While the series borrowed elements from DC's superhero universe initially, it never went with the flow of mainstream comics and is widely considered to be one of the most original and innovative expressions of the comic book art form. The series was never heavy on action and the narrative shifted focus quite often, two attributes not normally seen in DC comics.

And that's why Gaiman's description of the lost film's plot is quite kooky.

"[In that script] Morpheus' first line was, 'As if your puny weapons could heart me, Morpheus the Mighty Lord of Dreams.' And I went, 'Oh no, that's awful, this is terrible.' He was kept by electromagnets underneath New York and it must have been about 1997 or '98 because it was a millennium based plot. [The lead characters] had to do some stuff before the millennium, the lead characters were brothers; Lucifer, The Corinthian and Sandman were brothers, and it was this race against time to gather a bunch of MacGuffins before the millennium. It never got made and whoever wrote [that script] got paid more for writing that than I ever was for writing the entirety of Sandman. So in terms of how I feel about stuff [I write not becoming films], I feel fine."

Yep, that sounds like it completely missed the point of "Sandman." An adaptation of "Sandman" has been in the works for a long time though, most notably one for television. Due to the film's wide scope and large cast of characters, television seems like the best home for the series. But updates about the show are few and far between.

Gaiman also goes into the equally clumsy adaptation of another one of his comic books, "Books of Magic." You can hear that on The Empire Film Podcast.

[via Comic Book Movie]

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