Get ready to dream dangerously. Netflix’s adaptation of The Sandman is almost here, and the cast and creators celebrated big time at San Diego Comic-Con!
Check out highlights from the panel below, including insights on creating the series and descriptions of the Hall H exclusives that aired during the panel.
Who Attended The Panel?
The Sandman panel included the original comics creator and series executive producer Neil Gaiman, as well as EP/showrunner Allan Heinberg. Several cast members also appeared, including:
- Tom Sturridge (Morpheus, aka Dream)
- Vivienne Acheampong (Lucienne)
- Boyd Holbrook (The Corinithian)
- Gwendoline Christie (Lucifer)
- Jenna Coleman (Johanna Constantine)
- Kirby Howell-Baptiste (Death)
- Mason Alexander Park (Desire)
- Vanesu Samunyai (Rose Walker)
- Patton Oswalt (voice of Matthew the raven)
The panel was moderated by Kari Byron, known for Mythbusters and The White Rabbit Project.
Insights & Stories From The Cast and Creators
During the panel, The Sandman cast and creators discussed bringing the story to life on screen for Netflix, their personal connections to the comics, and more.
Gaiman and Heinberg discussed having an unusual casting process for the series, which landed its huge stars in a variety of ways. The duo noted that they saw Tom Sturridge’s audition early in the process and flagged him as a clear frontrunner for the role of Morpheus. Over a thousand auditions later, he was still their favorite to play Dream. Gaiman’s previous work with Jenna Coleman on Doctor Who made him think of her to play Johanna Constantine, while Mason Alexander Park actually got Gaiman’s attention by tweeting him about the role of Desire. Interestingly, the first person cast in the series was actually Patton Oswalt as Matthew the raven. Gaiman joked that he cast Oswalt in the role before the man himself even knew about it.
The panel itself was full of Sandman fans, with several people expressing their love for Gaiman’s comics long before they began working on the Netflix series. Moderator Kari Byron and stars Tom Sturridge, Gwendoline Christie, and Patton Oswalt all mentioned they were fans of The Sandman.
“The connection I felt to the material really awakened something in me,” said Christie. “When I think about The Sandman, when I read the comics, there is this innate, fantastical, intelligent… It has a spirituality in it that is like Star Wars. It takes you somewhere else. You feel like somehow through reading it the mysteries of the universe will unfold.”
Oswalt even said he once waited in line for three hours back in the 90s to get Gaiman to sign his copy of “Seasons of the Mist.”
Besides Gaiman himself overseeing the adaptation, the series will include other connections to the original DC comics. Showrunner Heinberg mentioned that different directors bring their own flair and vision to the episodes, which in a way mimics the shifts of The Sandman’s art style through different issues of the comics. In another big treat for comic fans, the panel also revealed original illustrator Dave McKean will return to create the end credits for each episode of the series.
SDCC Hall H Exclusive Clips
The Hall H audience was treated to three exclusive clips from The Sandman. These clips are not available online, and were screened exclusively for panel attendees.
The first clip, which opened the panel, showed David Thewlis as John Dee (aka Doctor Destiny). He’s at a diner, wielding Morpheus’ ruby Dreamstone. This takes place during the comics’ “Preludes and Nocturnes” arc (likely episode 2 in The Sandman Netflix series).
The second clip featured Jenna Coleman as Johanna Constantine. She appears to be performing a wedding ceremony, but it quickly turns into an exorcism as a demon literally claws its way out of the groom. Sturridge’s Dream appears and forbids Constantine to banish the demon, but she doesn’t listen to him. The scene comes from episode 3, which adapts the “Dream A Little Dream of Me” arc.
The final clip gave attendees a look at a fan-favorite scene from the comics, from “The Sound of Her Wings” arc. It features Kirby Howell-Baptiste as Death having a heart-to-heart with her Endless brother Dream on a park bench. (Yes, she throws a baguette at him and tells him to get his life together.) Though this story comes from issue #8 in the comics, it will play out in episode 6 of the series.
The Sandman Trailer World Premiere
Finally, the panel concluded with the world premiere of The Sandman trailer. Following the panel, this trailer was released online for everyone to see.
There is another world that waits for all of us when we close our eyes and sleep — a place called the Dreaming, where The Sandman, Master of Dreams (Tom Sturridge), gives shape to all of our deepest fears and fantasies. But when Dream is unexpectedly captured and held prisoner for a century, his absence sets off a series of events that will change both the dreaming and waking worlds forever. To restore order, Dream must journey across different worlds and timelines to mend the mistakes he’s made during his vast existence, revisiting old friends and foes, and meeting new entities — both cosmic and human — along the way. Based on the beloved award-winning DC comic series written by Neil Gaiman, The Sandman is a rich, character-driven blend of myth and dark fantasy woven together over the course of ten epic chapters following Dream’s many adventures. Developed and executive produced by Gaiman, showrunner Allan Heinberg, and David S. Goyer.
The Sandman premieres on Netflix August 5.
More From SDCC 2022
After a three year hiatus, San Diego Comic-Con is back! That means plenty of updates from huge fandom universes, including DC and Marvel, Star Trek, and The Walking Dead. You can also expect first looks at a ton of highly-anticipated adaptations, like the Dungeons & Dragons movie, Prime Video’s Lord of the Rings series, Netflix’s The Sandman, and more. Whether you’re into superheroes or the supernatural, there’s going to be something for everyone at SDCC this year! You can view our guide to SDCC panels and activations here. Meanwhile, check back to THS for more news, updates, and exclusives dropping during Comic-Con.