'The Sandman': 6 Possible Spin-Offs We Could See In The Future
More adventures with The Endless?
The long-awaited TV adaptation of Neil Gaiman's cult-classic comic The Sandman has proved a hit for Netflix, with some fans even claiming that the series has the potential to become one of the greatest graphic novel adaptations of all time.
The series stars Tom Sturridge as Lord Morpheus, aka Dream of The Endless, one of seven near immortal siblings who each represent an aspect of human existence. After being imprisoned for decades in the basement of the Burgess Family, Morpheus must correct the damage his absence has done to his realm, The Dreaming, as well as the human world.
While The Sandman has not yet been officially renewed by Netflix for a second season, fans are hopeful for the series future. So hopeful, in fact, that some have even begun to speculate on the potential for spin-off series or films set in the Sandman universe.
Here are a few possibilities.
1. A Series Starring Johanna Constantine
Introduced in The Sandman's third episode, 'Dream a Little Dream of Me', Johanna Constantine, played by former Doctor Who actress Jenna Coleman, is a gifted Occult expert and adventuress for hire, who finds her dreams haunted by failures in her past. Johanna comes into contact with Dream when he seeks her out for being the last known person to have possessed his bag of magic sand. In return for Johanna's help retrieving the Sand, Dream offers to stop her recent nightmares. Coleman also plays Lady Constantine, Johanna's ancestor, during a flashback sequence in episode five.
The Johanna Constantine seen in the TV series is a female version of DC Comics character John Constantine. The gender switch was most likely made to differentiate from the fan-favourite Constantine played by Matt Ryan across DC's Arrowverse TV shows. Despite only appearing in one episode, Johanna Constantine made quite an impact, with some fans already calling for more of the character's adventures.
2. Death: The High Cost of Living
Lacking direction in his life after the recovery of his Sand, Helm, and Ruby, Dream pays a visit to his older sister, Death, in the fifth episode of the series. Death distracts him by allowing him to accompany her at 'work', guiding departed souls to the afterlife. It is implied that Dream/Morpheus shares a closer relationship with Death than with his other siblings, as she seems to be the only one thus far whom he has actually sought out simply to spend time with. Death is portrayed in the series by Kirby Howell-Baptiste.
Author Neil Gaiman has penned a number of spin-offs starring the character of Death, one of the most notable, and seemingly ripe for adaptation, is the three-issue limited series comic Death: The High Cost Of Living. The initial idea of this series stems from a line in The Sandman comic:
'One day in every century, Death takes on mortal flesh, better to comprehend what the lives she takes must feel like, to taste the bitter tang of mortality.'
On the day depicted in this series, Death, taking the form of a teenager named Didi, chooses to spend her single day with Sexton Furnival, a suicidal teenage boy, in the hope that she can convince him to choose life. Unfortunately, the supposed to be fun day is thrown off course by Mad Hettie, a centuries-old woman who has extended her life by hiding her heart from Death, but has now lost said heart and wants Death to find it. A villain known as The Erumite also causes trouble.
Gaiman has written a script for a film adaptation of Death: The High Cost Of Living, under the working title of Death and Me, and once had plans to direct the project himself. Unfortunately, the film has been trapped in development hell since 2010. However, seeing as Netflix saved The Sandman from a similar situation, some fans are hoping the streamer could do the same for Death's spin-off in the wake of the series' success.
3. Endless Nights
Over the course of The Sandman's first season, we have met four of the Endless: Dream, Death, and twins Desire and Despair. This leaves three more to be introduced in future seasons, if they go ahead. Destiny, Delirium, and Destruction. When The Sandman's story opens, Destruction, sometimes referred to as The Prodigal, is missing after having abandoned his realm.
While the other Endless appear throughout the original comic run, in prominent supporting, or, in Desire's case, antagonistic roles, The Sandman is Morpheus's story. However, as many fans displayed a desire to get to know the other Endless better, Gaiman published an anthology series, Endless Nights, in 2003. Each story focuses on one of the seven Endless siblings, with each drawn by a different artist to match the unique personality, aesthetic, and core function of the focus character. Desire, played by non-binary actor Mason Alexander Park, has already proved a fan favourite, so if The Sandman lasts long enough to introduce the remaining three Endless, an Endless Nights spin-off seems a no-brainer.
4. The Books Of Magic
The Books of Magic began life when DC Comics approached the creator of The Sandman series, Neil Gaiman, to produce a new comic series based on it's stable of magical characters. Gaiman created the four-issue miniseries The Books of Magic. The series was later picked up as an ongoing title by DC's adult/prestige brand, Vertigo Comics.
Fourteen-year old Timothy Hunter is approached by the Trenchcoat Brigade (a team of DC characters including The Phantom Stranger, Doctor Occult, Mister E, and John Constantine), and told that he has the potential to become the world's greatest magician, if he so chooses, but his allegiance to good or evil has not been decided. The Brigade take Tim on a tour of various magical realms, each hoping to influence his allegiance, or ultimate decision on whether or not to pursue his magical potential. Characters from The Sandman make cameos throughout, and more recent printings have marketed Books of Magic as being a part of The Sandman universe.
Like Death and Me, a potential film adaptation of The Books of Magic has languished in development hell. One issue that has faced the adaptation is Timothy Hunter's very similar appearance to Harry Potter. However, some fans have hope that The Sandman's success could bring Netflix to fight in The Books of Magic's corner. If a TV series were to go ahead, John Constantine would most likely be replaced with Jenna Coleman's Johanna.
5. The Dreaming
To celebrate the 30th anniversary of The Sandman in 2018, DC Comics commissioned a new series of comics under the label 'Sandman Universe'. These included a revival of The Books of Magic, new series based on Lucifer and John Constantine, and The Dreaming.
The Dreaming, as fans will know, is the name of Dream's realm, to which humans are briefly able to travel while they sleep. The Dreaming comic series focuses on the various characters who live in The Dreaming after the events of The Sandman. These include characters such as Cain, Abel, and their pet gargoyle Goldie, Lucian (Lucienne in the TV series), Librarian of The Dreaming, janitor Mervyn Pumpkinhead, and Dream's loyal raven, Matthew.
If there is still interest in The Sandman once the TV series reaches its conclusion, The Dreaming could make for an easy continuation.
6. The Sandman: Overture
Throughout The Sandman comics, it is hinted that Morpheus may have been weakened by an incident before the series begins, allowing him to be more easily captured by Roderick Burgess. In 2015, Gaiman decided to officially tell this story in the prequel The Sandman: Overture.
Just as he is about to depart The Dreaming in pursuit of The Corinthian, various aspects of Dream sense a wrongness in the universe, so Dream redirects his trip to an alien world to investigate. He discovers that a star has developed a strange insanity, stemming from Dream mishandling events around the last born human Dream Vortex . If not stopped, the insanity will destroy the universe. Hoping to correct the problem, Dream embarks on a quest with a cat whom he believes to be an aspect of himself (later revealed as a disguised Desire), and an orphan child, Hope. The whole affair takes much longer than it should have, and takes more energy out of Morpheus than it probably should, due to his refusal to ask for or accept help. As such, when returning to Earth to finally deal with The Corinthian, he is ripe to fall victim to the Burgess Cult.
Without explicitly spoiling anything for those who have not read the comic, Morpheus is not usually a major player in Sandman Universe stories set after the original Sandman series. If The Sandman continues to be a success for Netflix, hanging on to one final prequel starring the series hero to adapt at a later date could prove a winning strategy.
We can't wait to see what's next for The Sandman universe!
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