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Neil Gaiman hopes American Gods will help him get Sandman to TV

(Photo: Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)

Because some dreams just won’t die (no matter how cute or quirky that Death may be), author Neil Gaiman has said he now has renewed hopes for bringing his comic book classic Sandman to some kind of live-action life. Years worth of planning on a film adaptation of the Vertigo series fell apart last year, after would-be star and director Joseph Gordon Levitt abruptly left the project over creative differences with its producers. Now, Gaiman is once again praying for a TV landing for Morpheus and his retinue, with the idea that the success of his Starz series American Gods—not to mention Fox’s Lucifer—might ease the way.

The first episode of American Gods doesn’t premiere until tomorrow night, but critics—including our own Danette Chavez—have already started handing out glowing reviews. Gaiman says that he hopes that the success of American Gods and Lucifer—which has its origins in the Sandman books—will convince Warner Bros., who owns the rights to the series, to abandon its Sandman movie plans and focus on TV, where its long-form storytelling and anthological nature might be a better fit.


“The trouble with Warners, and I don’t blame them for it, is they know that Sandman is one of the jewels in their crown—and they know that with the jewels in your crown, you make movies out of them,” Gaiman told The Hollywood Reporter. But, he says, the story is “too big” for film treatment, a sentiment that crops up every time talk of the Sandman movie comes back into the news. “I suspect in a weird way, the fact that they took a tiny fragment of Sandman and now it’s one of Fox’s biggest hits might actually convince people to do the classy TV series I’ve been suggesting they do for 15 years now,” Gaiman said, adding, “And if American Gods goes big? Between that and Lucifer, that could help.”

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