The first season of Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman is now streaming on Netflix, but Hollywood has been trying to bring the iconic cartoon series to the screen for decades. One of the first attempts was a Sandman the film was supposed to be produced by Jon Peters, but Neil Gaiman hated the script so much that he purposefully leaked it to sabotage it.
In an interview with Rolling stonesNeil Gaiman said that the script for The Sandman movie”was the worst script I’ve ever read from anyone.” When someone from Jon Peters’ office called Gaiman to get his thoughts on the script, he held no punches.
A guy in Jon Peters’ office called me and he said, ‘So Neil, have you had a chance to read the script we sent you?’ And I said, ‘Well, yes. Yes I did. I haven’t read it all, but I’ve read enough.’ He says, ‘Well, pretty good. What?’ And I said, ‘Well, no. It really isn’t.’ He said, ‘Oh, come on. There must have been things in there that you loved’. I said, ‘There was nothing in there that I loved. There was nothing in there that I liked. It was the worst script I’ve ever read from anyone. It’s not just the worst Sandman script. It was the worst script I’ve ever been sent’.
A couple of themreally stupid” ideas in the script for The Sandman the movie included giant mechanical spiders (classic Jon Peters) and Lucifer, Morpheus and Corinthian are identical triplets. “They were a family of identical brothers,Gaiman explained,and it was all a race to see who could get the ruby, the rudder and the sandbag before midnight in 1999, before the new millennium began, because whoever got it would be the winner. That was the plot.Neil Gaiman did not want the project to move forward, so he decided to leak the script. “I sent the script to Ain’t It Cool News, which was then read by people,Gaiman said. “And I thought, I wonder what Ain’t It Cool News will think of the manuscript that they will receive anonymously. And they wrote a fabulous article about how it was the worst script they’d ever sent. And suddenly the prospect of that film happening disappeared. And instead, Jon Peters turned his attention to the Wild Wild West.“
The official synopsis for The Sandman:
There is another world that awaits us all when we close our eyes and sleep – a place called the Dream, where the Sandman, the Master of Dreams (Tom Sturridge), gives form to all our deepest fears and fantasies. But when Dream is unexpectedly captured and held captive for a century, his absence sets in motion a series of events that will change both the dream world and the waking world forever. To restore order, Dream must travel across different worlds and timelines to right the wrongs he’s committed during his vast existence, revisiting old friends and enemies and encountering new entities – both cosmic and human – along the way.
The Sandman now streaming on Netflix, but despite its success, a second season is still uncertain.