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How is The Sandman similar to the comics? What Neil Gaiman said about the changes

Whenever an adaptation is released, there will be naturally a lot of talk about what meaningful changes. Does the snippet that accompanies changing a book or comic into a show or movie make it better, worse, or different in a subtle way? What does it mean when these changes come from the creators themselves?

That question is likely to pop up in fans’ minds as they watch Netflix Sand sellers, of course, is based on Neil Gaiman’s beloved comic of the same name and developed for Netflix by Gaiman (along with David S. Goyer and showrunner Allan Heinberg), who is also an executive producer. In a way, it can provide a certain comfort to know that a creator has so many hands on a show. went through real development hell to come here. But that’s not to say Sandman is no change.

“There are things we will go to, OK, what is important in each scene? And I would talk to Allan about why a scene was written, about what I was trying to do, about what I mean, about what was important to me,” Gaiman told Polygon. “You take a character like Death; It was important to me that we choose an actress who can really convey goodness, who can convey feelings and the idea that you will love her just a little bit. ”

In Gaiman’s mind, Kirby Howell-Baptiste captured it perfect; she is the kind of person, like death, might say generously, “You know you should look both ways before you cross the street,” and you’re “like her for saying it.” What’s more important is that Howell-Baptiste, a Black woman, perfectly fits the character drawn decades ago – although Gaiman says that wasn’t always the case.

Lucifer bent over the table and growled a little

Photo: Laurence Cendrowicz / Netflix

“I mean, that’s a reason why is Gwendoline Christie perfect like Lucifer. She looks and feels in every way like the Lucifer that Mike Dringenberg and Sam Kieth drew Sandman #4. That’s all – but the fact that she can also be the embodiment of Lucifer, that she’s wonderful and majestic and truly dangerous,” Gaiman said. “Good, that’s what we need.”

There were several updates that Gaiman felt were needed as the story moved to TV. In addition to the optics of the casting process, the set of Sand sellers focus on Death pulled from the original comic “The Sound of Her Wings” and combined it with a short story called “Winter’s Tale” that Gaiman wrote. In other chapters, Sandman make some changes here and there to the story – move away from the true brutality of the “24 Hours” chapter to change the episode of the “24/7” show or solidify a weird look for the long run. Castle of Dreams instead of an ever-changing castle. Martian Manhunter is no longer there.

“We tried recreating the comic correctly, and it didn’t work very well,” Gaiman said in a Vanity Fair video discusses some changes to the look and feel of Endless domains’. “And then we had to think: Well, how is it going to work?

Image of Desire's kingdom, a Desire-like building with its heart exposed, standing above the clouds

Desire’s realm is something Gaiman cited as a change he wanted to make
Image: Netflix

“Comics have always been bible; sometimes they are more like the Old Testament. We let things change, but things that have changed tend to change over time, or with the need to create something into television.”

Additionally, many actors say they are free to let their characters suit them, working with Gaiman and Heinberg to shoot performances that feel true to the “soul” of the work, which is unique to Gaiman. feel is important to maintain.

“I think about the place to play, a lot of it comes from exploring relationships with other characters, because we saw that on the page, but how does it work in real life?” Howell-Baptiste said. “For me, I used the source material in the comics because it yellowbasically, for my character.

“They gave me the script before they told me who the character was. So my reading is really instinctive. And from there, they seemed really responsive and wanted me to run with what I was carrying. So I just felt so much freedom and release from Neil and Allan to play and explore. “

Joanna Constantine holds the cross and reads the word Rituale

Image: Netflix

Jenna Coleman, who plays Johanna Constantine, agrees, though her character has changed a lot since the book’s iteration. For her Constantinenow seen at the top of her game and serving the royal family, it’s a deliberate move to embrace change for the character.

“We have seen” Constantines are different, there are different interpretations through various means. And I think it was a very intentional reason that I was tasked with Neil and Allan’s vision, and a very intentional move and leave in terms of costumes,” Coleman said. She noted that her callback audition was with Gaiman, “like I’ve never been given such a green light in all my life.”

“I’m sure, you know, like a lot of adaptations are too separate from their creators. But on the contrary […] Sand sellers was Neil’s dream, both for the 1989 comic series for its beginnings, and now, for this show on Netflix,” Coleman added. “He took his work directly and reimagined it. And for me too, just having him around and knowing that we’ve got his approval – it gives us a lot more freedom in our work.”

Additional reporting by Tasha Robinson.

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