Not all big-budget DC series are heading to HBO Max in 2022. We’ve taken a closer look at Netflix’s ambitious and very expensive adaptation of The Sandman. The series’ first trailer features many of the main heroes and villains who will make up the story in Season 1.
But don’t worry if you can’t tell Dream from Desire. Let’s analyze all the familiar faces in this new pickup so you’re ready for The Sandman when it drops in August 2022.
Introduction to Netflix’s The Sandman: Morpheus and the Endless
The trailer begins with several shots of Morpheus directed by Tom Sturridge, the series’ main protagonist and titular hero Sandman himself. Morpheus is also known as Dream. One of the seven immortal beings known as The Endless, Morpheus controls a world called The Dreaming, which is shaped by human dreams.
While executive producer Neil Gaiman has hinted that the series isn’t exactly a 1:1 adaptation of the comics, it certainly looks as if the first season will follow the events of Sandman’s first graphic novel, Preludes and Nocturnes. We can see Morpheus being summoned and imprisoned by a group of cults led by the character of Charles Dance Roderick Burgess.
Although Morpheus eventually escapes, decades of confinement have left his kingdom in ruins and caused a strange chain of events across the world. Here we see Lucienne of Vivienne Acheampong, Morpheus’ personal librarian, telling her master of the devastation that has befallen The Dreaming.
We may or may not meet all six of the Dream siblings over the course of Season 1, but we see two of them in the trailer. Kirby Howell Baptiste plays Death, Morpheus’ older sister. It’s surprisingly lively for a being that’s been around for life itself.
This mason Alexander Park like desire.
The embodiment of lust, the shape of desire changes to suit the beholder. They’ve been plotting against their brother for ages, and they’re only too happy to take advantage of the chaos in The Dreaming.
Sandman’s DC Universe Characters
While Sandman comics feature a number of DC heroes and villains in guest roles, we don’t know how many of these characters are available for Netflix. However, the trailer features two characters who have important connections to the broader DC Universe.
This scene shows Joanna Constantin from Jenna Coleman talking with a character named Mad Hetty.
In the comics, Joanna is a distant ancestor of John Constantine and has a run with the dream during the French Revolution. But it looks like the Netflix series will also feature Johanna for the time being, rather than John himself. However, we’re not sure if Coleman is playing with two different members of the Constantine family or if Joanna is an immortal.
Hetty is definitely immortal. She has managed to survive for centuries by literally hiding her heart from death. Maybe Joanna picked up some tricks from her?
The other significant DCU character here is David Thewlis’ John Dee. In the comics, Dee was a super-villain named Doctor Destiny, who fought the Justice League with a device that could turn dreams into reality.
You may also recognize this character from the Arrowverse, as Jeremy Davis played her in the 2018 crossover “Elseworlds”.
Sandman revisits Dee’s background and reveals that he’s gained the manipulative power of his dreams after he possesses Morpheus’s mysterious sapphire amulet. Dee is one of the central villains in Sandman’s first story, and he appears to play a similar role here.
Corinth and when is the raven?
The trailer also features another important Boyd Holbrook villain, The Corinthian. Created by Morpheus himself, The Corinthian is a living nightmare with extra mouths where his eyes should be. An accomplished serial killer escaping from the chaos of the many years Morpheus was imprisoned on Earth, cleaning up the chaos of The Corinthian is one of our hero’s first tasks after regaining his freedom.
Finally, we come to Matthew the Raven. A formerly humanoid named Matthew Cable (yes, the same Matthew Cable who appeared in the short-lived Swamp Thing series on the DC Universe), he works as Morpheus’ familiar and Dreaming assistant. This version of Matthew was voiced by Patton Oswalt.
One main character is conspicuously absent in this trailer. We don’t see Gwendoline Christie’s Lucifer Morningstar anywhere, although this fallen angel plays a big role in the first part of the series. Kristi is technically playing the same character who appeared on the Lucifer TV series, earlier than Lucifer abdicates the throne of Hell and moves to Los Angeles.
For more information on the upcoming Netflix slate, find out everything that was announced so far during the Geeked Week event on Netflix.
Jesse is a mild-mannered writer for IGN. Allow him to lend a machete to your intellectual performance Follow @jschedeen on Twitter.