Netflix’s The Sandman has debuted at No. 3 on Nielsen’s U.S. ranking of streaming originals for the week of August 1st.
According to TVLine, the fantasy drama amassed 1 billion minutes viewed across its first 10 episodes for the said week. Its fellow Netflix series, Stranger Things (1.42 billion minutes/34 episodes), is back at No. 1 on the ranking after spending two weeks in the second spot, which is now held by another Netflix series, Virgin River (1.39 billion minutes/42 episodes).
The Sandman cracking the Top 3 among all U.S. streaming originals on Nielsen Charts is a huge achievement for DC Comics and its parent company, Warner Bros., which had attempted to develop a live-action adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s comic book series of the same name since the late 1990s.
Previous Sandman projects
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly last month, Gaiman, who exec produces Netflix’s The Sandman, recalled that there was a version of a Sandman movie from Pulp Fiction co-writer Roger Avary that was over as soon as he pitched it to the heads of Warner Bros.
There was also a Sandman film project from Superman Lives producer Jon Peters with a very bad opening line. “There was a version of the script, and I’ll never forget the first line: ‘A-ha, foolish mortals! As if your puny weapons could hurt me, the mighty Lord of Dreams, the Sandman!’ And it got worse from there,” Gaiman told the news outlet.
Prior to Netflix’s The Sandman, a Sandman film with Joseph Gordon-Levitt attached to star was in development. Even though the actor dropped out due to disagreements with the studio over the creative direction of the film, the project continued to move forward until writer Eric Heisserer left the movie, stating that the film should be a TV series instead.
With the exception of the Gordon-Levitt-led Sandman project and Netflix’s The Sandman, Gaiman had refused to get involved with previous attempts to bring his comic book series to screen.
“I’d refused to write them; I refused to be the executive producer. I wouldn’t do it because I knew that if I did, I would lose the only power that I had, which was to be able to speak out against a bad Sandman movie,” Gaiman told Entertainment weekly. “Fortunately, Sandman was just too expensive for anybody to justify making. And if you’re trying to make a Sandman movie, the first question is, what do you throw out? Because Sandman, by the time it was finished, is 3,000 pages of comic. So what is your movie then?”
Fast-forward to 2019, Netflix announced that it had completed a deal with Warner Bros. to develop Sandman into a live-action TV series, which seems to be a better format than a feature-length movie.
Netflix’s The Sandman
Developed by Gaiman, David S. Goyer, and Allan Heinberg, The Sandman tells the story of Morpheus, the titular Sandman. The personification of dreams and one of the seven Endless, Morpheus was captured in an occult ritual in 1916. After being held captive for 106 years, Dream escapes and sets out to restore order to his realm called The Dreaming.
The Sandman cast
Morpheus is played by lead star Tom Sturridge. Other main cast members include Boyd Holbrook as the Corinthian, Vivienne Acheampong as Lucienne, and Patton Oswalt as the voice of Matthew the Raven.
Co-starring in the first season of The Sandman are David Thewlis as John Dee, Jenna Coleman as Johanna Constantine, Gwendoline Christie as Lucifer Morningstar, Kirby Howell-Baptiste as Death, and Kyo Ra as Rose Walker, a.k.a. The Vortex, among many others.
The Sandman release date
The first 10 episodes of The Sandman season 1 dropped on Netflix on August 5th. An 11th episode was released on August 19th as a two-part story collection.
The Sandman trailer
The Sandman season 2
Netflix has yet to renew The Sandman for a second season.