There have been a lot of comic book adaptations over the years but few have been as anticipated as this one. Neil Gaiman's The Sandman began its run as a print comic under the now defunct DC imprint called Vertigo back in 1988 and immediately challenged and changed the entire industry.
Originally, DC approached Gaiman to write a version of the early 20th-century, crime-fighting radio hero of the same name. However, he took an entirely different approach with his Sandman. The protagonist became the Dream King, Morpheus, who watches over the stories we tell ourselves while we sleep. Alongside him are his family called the Endless: Death, the eldest, Destiny, Despair, Desire, and Delirium, personified aspects of human existence who mingle with gods and storybook legends.
The Netflix series is ambitious, adapting an incredibly rich tapestry of myths and legends that Gaiman cobbled together from around the world to spin into something original. For years there had been stops and starts to bring it to film or TV, from a possible series with Supernatural creator and The Boys showrunner Eric Kripke to multiple reported movie projects. The character of Lucifer (yes, the Devil) even got a TV spin-off on Fox before the book that introduced him made it to the screen.
However, the streaming giant Netflix proved to be the right fit for Gaiman, and the trailers so far show that it will begin as the graphic novels began, with Dream, played by Tom Sturridge, trapped by a human magician before he escapes to reclaim everything that he lost while imprisoned. The journey will take him back to his long-neglected kingdom and even to the depths of Hell (ruled over by Game of Thrones' star Gwendoline Christie as Lucifer).
They will be joined by Kirby Howell-Baptiste as Death, Jenna Coleman as Johanna Constantine, and Patton Oswalt as Matthew the Raven, and is premiering on Friday.