The Sandman is welcoming everyone into the World of Dreams this summer. The release date for Netflix's series adaptation of Neil Gaiman's beloved DC graphic novel was just announced during the streamer's Geeked Week.
Last year's Geeked Week unveiled the first teaser for the series, which was hosted by executive producer Gaiman himself. Netflix describes The Sandman as "a rich blend of modern myth and dark fantasy in which contemporary fiction, historical drama and legend are seamlessly interwoven."
The Sandman is set in the realm of the Dreaming, which is ruled by Morpheus aka Dream (Tom Sturridge). He can move between his realm and that of the human world. Then, he is captured and held captive by the occultist Roderick Burgess (Charles Dance), triggering reality itself to be threatened. When Morpheus escapes, he must work to fix his cosmic and human mistakes.
Here's everything we know so far about The Sandman.
The Sandman release date
Netflix has set The Sandman release date for Friday, August 5.
All 11 Sandman episodes will drop at once.
The road to its release has been a long and winding one. Various adaptation attempts have languished in development hell. Gaiman was first approached in 1991 about a movie by DC's corporate sibling, Warner Bros.
In 2013, David S. Goyer (who's written several Batman movies) pitched a Sandman movie starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt was attached to star. However, the actor left the project due to creative differences.
In June 2019, Netflix snapped up the rights under a deal with Warner Bros. The series was developed by Gaiman, Goyer, and Allan Heinberg. Gaiman pledged to be more involved with The Sandman than he had been with the TV adaptation of American Gods.
The Sandman cast
The Sandman cast is led by Tom Sturridge as Morpheus, aka Dream, the king of dreams and the Lord of the Dreaming. He is one of seven Endless, who embody eternal concepts. His siblings include Desire and Death.
Sturridge is joined by:
- Gwendoline Christie as Lucifer, the ruler of Hell.
- Vivienne Acheampong as Lucienne, the librarian of the Dreaming.
- Boyd Holbrook as The Corinthian, a nightmare who escaped the Dreaming.
- Charles Dance as Roderick Burgess, a charlatan occultist.
- Asim Chaudhry as Abel, a resident of the Dreaming, based on the Biblical figure.
- Sanjeev Bhaskar as Cain, a resident of the Dreaming and Abel's brother.
- Kirby Howell-Baptiste as Death, Dream's sister.
- Mason Alexander Park as Desire, Dream's androgynous sibling.
- Donna Preston as Despair, Dream's sister who is Desire's twin.
- Jenna Coleman as Johanna Constantine, an occult detective and ancestor of John Constantine.
- Joely Richardson as Ethel Cripps, Burgess's lover and the mother of John Dee.
- David Thewlis as John Dee, Cripps's insane son.
- Kyo Ra as Rose Walker, a young woman targeted by the Corinthian.
- Stephen Fry as Gilbert, Rose's bodyguard.
- Razane Jammal as Lyta Hall, Rose's widowed friend.
- Sandra James-Young as Unity Kinkaid, Rose's benefactor who recently awakened from a century-long sleep.
- Patton Oswalt as the voice of Matthew the Raven, Morpheus' emissary.
- Mark Hamill as the voice of Mervyn Pumpkinhead, janitor of the Dreaming.
The Sandman teaser trailers
Geeked 2022 unveiled a date announcement teaser trailer for The Sandman, which features Morpheus introducing himself as the king of dreams and ruler of the nightmare realm. Later, Johanna Constantine is warned that The Sandman is coming — he isn't just a fairy tale.
The first teaser trailer came out in September 2021 during Netflix's Tudum event and showed occultist Roderick Burgess capturing Morpheus.
During Geeked Week 2021, Gaiman hosted a sneak peek video, in which he showed off the sets and some props. "For 32 years, anybody who read Sandman, read the comics. That world is ending," he said. "I’m here at Shepperton Studios and I’m getting to see what happens when you bring dreams to life."
The Sandman plot
The Sandman begins in 1916, during World War I. According to Entertainment Weekly (opens in new tab), a few occultists attempt to capture Death in the desperate hope of reviving their fallen loved ones. Instead, they take Dream and imprison him for 105 years. He finally escapes and sets out to restore order to his kingdom of the Dreaming.
Netflix's official synopsis says, "The Sandman follows the people and places affected by Morpheus, the Dream King, as he mends the cosmic — and human — mistakes he’s made during his vast existence."