Home Entertainment James Mangold reveals how office politics killed his pitch for an HBO Sandman series

James Mangold reveals how office politics killed his pitch for an HBO Sandman series

2 min read

We’re finally getting an adaption of Neil Gaiman’s groundbreaking The Sandman from Netflix, even if the script for it is not quite finished. Gaiman’s Sandman series spanned an incredible 75 issues and combined elements of fantasy and horror with classic literature and mythology to tell the story of Dream aka. Morpheus, the Lord of Dreams, and the six other Endless beings (Death, Destiny, Desire, Despair, Delirium, and Destruction) that govern all of existence. It’s a remarkable collection of stories that are as complex as they are powerful.

All of which is perhaps why finding ways of adapting Sandman to the big screen have proved so challenging in the past. And even though they are finally getting ready to brave that challenge with a new series, this is most certainly not the first attempt at trying to make this iconic work into a TV series. James Mangold In an interview with Discussing Film revealed how he had pitched an idea for the series to HBO who had come completely onboard with it before office politics ruined it all:

It’s no secret that I was trying to pull together a version of Neil Gaiman’s Sandman. I pitched it to HBO years ago and they bought the pitch as a long form series and then it got undone by a political turf war at WB. Regardless, now it’s happening and I am so happy for Neil who I think is a marvellous person as well as a supremely brilliant artist. His unique vision weaves the psychological, psychedelic, romantic, sexual and fantastical in a way that is both personal and epic. Anyway, in regard to other projects of the future, I couldn’t possibly speak about conjecture because anything I say in the realm of comic books becomes instant nitro-glycerine ready to haunt me for the next 10 years on Twitter.

Now DC fans will not be surprised to hear that the whole idea was ruined by Warner Bros. office politics. And even though that was many years ago, it would be intriguing to see how this series would’ve ultimately turned out. While Netflix will no doubt try and give their adaptation of the comic series their best effort, HBO’s production values are something else and they aren’t afraid of telling the sort of controversial and complex stories like The Sandman. I would love to see how they would’ve handled this exciting adaptation, but unfortunately, certain suits have stopped that from happening and now we have Netflix’s take on the subject matter to look forward to. Provided they can finally finish their script for it, that is.

Last Updated: June 10, 2020

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