Neil Gaiman Has a Message For Anyone Wondering About The Sandman's Future

"Telling Netflix to hurry up won't make decisions happen faster."
IMAGE NETFLIX

This post contains spoilers for the season one finale of The Sandman.

Neil Gaiman's The Sandman adaptation amassed nearly 200 million hours viewed since its debut just one month ago. To commemorate The Sandman's second week at No. 1 on the Netflix Top 10 TV list, the series even shared a surprise two-part anthology episode. And yet somehow—even though everyone is already buckled up for more insane tales from the world of The Sandman—the dark fantasy series still has yet to be renewed for Season Two.

Posting to Twitter Wednesday night, Gaiman cited that the delay is because of a Netflix strategy built on binge-watching. He explained that the "data harvesting" (whatever that is!) had only just finished, and a potential renewal was "complicated by a lot of people not binge-watching it, but spreading it out, letting episodes sink in before watching the next." As Gaiman is very well aware, The Sandman Season One is nearly 10 hours long, which may explain why viewers aren't watching it all in one sitting. "Telling Netflix to hurry up won't make decisions happen faster," he stated.

The Sandman is also full of pretty dense lore, or "rich fare" as one commenter put it, especially for anyone experiencing it for the first time. "I’m watching it quite slowly. 3 eps then a week off. Couple more, then a break... Loving it though," they told Gaiman. The Sandman creator responded with a succinct "You are not alone in watching it slowly." The writer's comments arrived at the same time as rumors that Netflix wanted to abandon its binge model and switch to weekly releases.

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Though there is no timetable for a Season Two renewal, the delay for what seemed like a very popular show is perplexing fans. Netflix has certainly renewed far less-watched shows than The Sandman before, even putting the series' higher budget aside. While the fans wait, showrunner Allan Heinberg confirmed to EW that he was already holding writers' rooms to work on scripts for a subsequent batch of episodes. That's good news—the dark fantasy series, over 30 years in the making, ended with several characters plotting to destroy the King of Dreams, and there's still a massive amount of source material from Neil Gaiman's work to explore, after all.

"We’ve got as many [seasons] as they’ll let us have," Heinberg told NME at the show's premiere in London. "If enough viewers show up, we can go for quite a long while. We want to do all of it, we want a spin-off miniseries. We’d love to make it for as long as they’ll have us.”

When Will The Sandman Return for Season Two?

Fingers crossed that The Sandman doesn't sit in development hell for another 30 years before we see more episodes. If we had to guess, it won't be too long before Netflix gives fans a green light for a second season. (Though, without a Marvel-type end-credits scene explicitly stating that "The Sandman will return," it's impossible to know exactly when the streamer will announce.)

What Happened in The Sandman Bonus Episode?

The anthology episode ran an hour long and followed two one-shot stories from The Sandman comics. "A Dream of A Thousand Cats" is an animated short, while the Melissanthi Mahut-starring "Calliope" is a live-action tale about a writer who captures the famous Muse for inspiration. Sandra Oh, James McAvoy, and David Tennant also provide notable voice acting roles, with McAvoy returning to Neil Gaiman's fantasy series after he voiced Dream in the official audiobook adaptation.

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Photo by NETFLIX.

What Will Happen in The Sandman Season Two?

The 10 episodes of Season One covered just 16 issues of Sandman's original 75-issue run. And the next installment of the Sandman graphic novel series, titled Season of Mists, is largely considered Neil Gaiman's finest work on The Sandman. (How's that for a tease!?)

Dream's meddlesome family members will have a larger role in the episodes to come—assuming they do come—as well as Gwendoline Christie's Lucifer, who is working up something truly diabolic.

"The end of episode one, if we move forward, is Dream saying to Matthew, 'I'm going to Hell and I may not come back,'" Heinberg teased. "So then episode two begins with the rematch between Dream and Lucifer. It's so juicy! I'm so looking forward to doing something entirely different with Gwendoline's look. I don't want to spoil the surprises for people who haven't read Season of Mists, but that's where Dream's trouble really begins."

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Swiftly introduced characters, such as the demon lord Azazel (Roger Allam) and Nada (Deborah Oyelade), the woman imprisoned in Hell, will play more into the Season of Mists adaptation. Brand new characters would also need to be cast, including a whole pantheon of gods and demons. Like in Season One, it's also possible that The Sandman's second season could cover more than one graphic novel at a time and make room for the Game of You story to also be included.

"If we're able to do Game of You, we've got a lot of characters who aren't even human, who are talking animals, who I'm looking forward to meeting," Heinberg added. "Lenny Henry is so good as Martin Tenbones, and I can't wait for the audience to meet Wanda, Foxglove, and Hazel."

Following Rose Walker's quirky boarding house guests, the story would introduce Wanda (a prominent trans character in The Sandman), and loads of fantasy creatures that blend dreams and reality. Hopefully, now that the important concepts have been established, the creative team can go even nuttier with it.

From: Esquire US

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Josh Rosenberg
Josh Rosenberg is an entertainment writer living in Brooklyn, keeping a steady diet of one movie a day; his work can be found at Spin, Insider, Vibe, and on his personal blog at Roseandblog.com.
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