How Neil Gaiman Sabotaged An Awful Sandman Movie

Neil Gaiman created The Sandman, and he helped bring the series to Netflix, which is the top show. However, he once sabotaged a terrible film adaptation of the comic.

By Douglas Helm | Published

neil gaiman

Neil Gaiman’s seminal comic series The Sandman has finally been adapted, many would say successfully, by Netflix. Many fans have long clamored for this legendary comic run to be adapted for the screen, and now they finally have their wish. It’s no surprise that although Netflix’s The Sandman is the first on-screen adaptation of the series, it’s not Hollywood’s first attempt to make it happen. In fact, Neil Gaiman himself went out of his way to sabotage a previous attempt by producer Jon Peters to adapt the series for the big screen.

In an interview with Rolling Stone, Gaiman said “It was the worst script that I’ve ever read by anybody.” He went on to say how he anonymously sent the script to Ain’t It Cool News, which published an article about how bad the script was. This was enough to deter Jon Peters from the project, diverting his attention to the film Wild Wild West instead. Wild Wild West currently has a 16% on Rotten Tomatoes from critics and a 28% from audiences. Netflix’s The Sandman currently has an 87% from critics and an 83% from audiences. It’s also been in Netflix’s Top Ten for the past three weeks. So, you can probably make the call if Gaiman made the right decision.

Neil Gaiman even gave the details of the script during his interview. Apparently, the script involved giant mechanical spiders at some point. Gaiman also said there were some major character changes, such as Lucifer, Morpheus, and the Corinthian being identical triplets. Additionally, the plot was completely changed to some sort of action movie where Lucifer, Morpheus, and the Corinthian were racing to obtain ruby, the helm, and the bag of sand before the millennium began. Fans of the comic will know that Morpheus seeks out his ruby, helm, and bag of sand after escaping imprisonment, but it was never some sort of race against Lucifer and the Corinthian to obtain them. Clearly, the script didn’t respect the original source material, which is something that Netflix’s The Sandman series made sure to do.

The Sandman tells the story of Dream as he travels across worlds and timelines to fix the chaos his absence caused during his imprisonment. The Netflix series is based on the Neil Gaiman comic book series of the same name, which he began releasing in 1989. The series stars Tom Sturridge, Gwendoline Christie, Vivienne Acheampong, Boyd Holbrook, Charles Dance, Asim Chaudhry, Sanjeev Bhaskar, Kirby Howell-Baptiste, Mason Alexander Park, Donna Preston, and more. Right now, fans are awaiting news if the Netflix series will get a second season. Gaiman has admitted the series is very expensive to do, so Netflix making more seasons will be dependent on how well the first season does. With the series being in the top ten for Netflix three weeks in a row, that certainly bodes well for the show’s future.

It’s pretty safe to say that everyone is happy, especially Neil Gaiman, with the way The Sandman was brought to screen, especially compared to the possible Jon Peters adaptation. While it might have been fun to see such a disaster brought to life, it could have killed any chance of fans getting a faithful adaptation of one of the best comic series of all time.