Netflix’s ‘The Sandman’: Everything to Know, According to the Cast [San Diego Comic-Con 2022 Exclusive]

TL;DR: 

  • Netflix releases a new trailer for The Sandman during San Diego Comic-Con 2022.
  • Cast members, including Tom Sturridge (Dream), Gwendoline Christie (Lucifer), and Kirby Howell-Baptiste (Death) reveal how they got into character and what fans can expect from the series.
  • The series will premiere on Netflix on August 5.

What is the story behind ‘The Sandman’?

Technically, the story of the Sandman originates in European folklore. Folklore says that the Sandman is a magical being who puts people to sleep and inspires dreams by placing sand in their eyes. But we’re not talking about the folklore Sandman, although his character certainly does inspire this story. Instead, we’re talking about The Sandman comic books. Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman is one of the most revered comics of all time.

The original series ran between 1989 and 1996 and included 75 issues. The comic landed on the New York Times Bestseller List, and was revived as a four-part series in 2018 through The Sandman Universe. And even after three decades, fans can’t get enough of the Sandman. Luckily, fans can catch more of their favorite comic book character in the upcoming series, The Sandman.

A live panel and Q&A at San Diego Comic-Con 2022 today featured cast members of The Sandman, including Tom Sturridge (Dream), Gwendoline Christie (Lucifer), Vivienne Acheampong (the Librarian), Boyd Holbrook (Corinthian), Kirby Howell-Baptiste (Death), Mason Alexander Park (Desire), Jenna Coleman (Johanna Constantine), Vanesu Samunyai (Rose), and Patton Oswalt (the Raven). The panel also included Creator/Executive Producer Neil Gaiman and Showrunner/Executive Producer Allan Heinberg.

Tom Sturridge shares how he became Dream

Bringing an iconic character to life is not an easy task. There can be so many expectations to live up to in order to appease dedicated fans. However, that pressure didn’t seem to affect Tom Sturridge’s performance as Dream in The Sandman. In fact, the popularity of Neil Gaiman’s comics only seemed to fuel Sturridge’s motivation.

“I feel so deeply about this piece of literature. And I think the only way you can begin to understand it is to subsume yourself in the words and the images that Neil [Gaiman] created,” said Sturridge. “So I just spent months reading, over and over again, until it was in my bones and it was in my blood. And I think there is no more honest way to get into a character than to get into the mind of the man who made it.”

Attendees were also able to glimpse Sturridge’s performance during exclusive clips from the show. Sturridge’s depiction of Dream did not disappoint.

Tom Sturridge speaks onstage at San Diego Comic-Con 2022
Tom Sturridge speaks onstage during The Sandman panel at San Diego Comic-Con 2022 | Photo by Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images

Gwendoline Christie says she’s playing a different kind of ‘evil’ with Lucifer

During the panel, Gwendoline Christie who plays Lucifer in The Sandman shared how she developed a version of Lucifer that looks and feels different from traditional depictions. She said that she focused less on the “evil” of Lucifer and more on how it feels to be a fallen angel.

“Lucifer is a fallen angel. He was God’s favorite and then he was shunned, cast aside, said Christie. “Think about how that must have felt.”

Christie then shared that her character also highlights the more subversive nature of evil in today’s world.

“A lack of empathy is evil. Disconnection is evil,” said Christie. “So I was very, very honored to bring my own thoughts of it. And to embody this incredible character.”

Gwendoline Christie at The Sandman panel at san Diego Conic-Con 2022
Gwendoline Christie at The Sandman panel at san Diego Conic-Con 2022 | Photo by Katie Maloney for Showbiz Cheat Sheet

Kirby Howell-Baptiste worked through a ‘personal loss’ by playing Death in ‘The Sandman’

When people think about death they often become uncomfortable, sad, or even afraid. That’s exactly what Kirby Howell-Baptiste, who plays Death in The Sandman, wants to play against. Howell-Baptiste said that, instead of playing into a character that people fear, she wanted to be the version of death people would “want to have a drink with.”

“I spent an incredibly long time looking at relationships with death, both in the western world and other places,” said Kirby Howell-Baptiste. “And this idea that there could be dignity in death and that there’s this hopefulness in death instead of the doom and gloom that we traditionally see.”

Howell Baptist said that, in becoming this more approachable version of death, she was also able to work through a personal loss in her own life.

“Rather than this idea of this looming character that made you feel awful at a time, it was better that you were with someone who you felt comfortable with, who you could talk to,” she said. “And for me, it was an amazing experience. I GOT TO dive into myself and explore my own relationship with death. And I had a personal loss that I think I was able to sort of work through in playing death. So this is an absolutely incredible experience for me.”

Kirby Howell-Baptiste at The Sandman Panel at San Diego Comic-Con 2022
Kirby Howell-Baptiste at The Sandman Panel at San Diego Comic-Con 2022 | Photo by Katie Maloney for Showbiz Cheat Sheet

Is ‘The Sandman’ going to be on Netflix?

Yes. The Sandman will be available to stream on Netflix starting on August 5. During the panel, Creator/Executive Producer Neil Gaiman and Showrunner/Executive Producer Allan Heinberg shared that they knew from the beginning that they wanted to tell The Sandman story via a streaming platform.

“We knew that streaming was the only way to tell this story,” said Heinberg. Luckily, Netflix felt the same way.

Fans can stream The Sandman on Netflix starting August 5.

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