5 ways Netflix’s ‘The Sandman’ is different from the comics

5 ways Netflix’s ‘The Sandman’ is different from the comics

Published August 6, 2022
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How do you adapt an award-winning comic book series that’s considered unfilmable? If you’re the creative team behind Netflix’s The Sandman, you move some things around, but mostly you hew closely to the beloved source material.

The Netflix adaptation of The Sandman is remarkably faithful to Neil Gaiman’s comics, despite the considerable challenges posed by very nature of the story. Showrunner Allan Heinberg and executive producers David S. Goyer and Gaiman have adapted the first 16 issues of the comics into a 10 episode-long season that, while most certainly not perfect, clearly works hard to do justice to and maintain the spirit of the originals.

This Sandman still tells the story of Dream, played by Tom Sturridge, the lord of the dreaming realm who is imprisoned by magic-hungry humans at the beginning of the series. Upon his escape decades later, he must restore order to the Dreaming while contending with the chaos that ensued both in his world and the waking world while he was gone. One of the most noticeable changes the series makes early on is updating the date of Dream’s escape from the late 1980s to the present day, setting the rest of the story in 2021 — with some flashbacks, of course.

Season 1 of The Sandman follows the comics’ first 16 issues, which includes arcs from both Preludes & Nocturnes andThe Doll’s House. It mostly takes a “one issue per episode” approach, but at only 10 episodes long, some storylines had to be moved around.