For decades, comic book fans have wondered to themselves what it would be like if the iconic graphic novel series The Sandman could make the leap off the page. Thanks to this exclusive clip below, Collider can provide a quick taste of the upcoming Audible adaptation of the series, featuring narrator Neil Gaiman, Michael Sheen as Lucifer, and James McAvoy as the titular Dream, in search of his helm amidst a sea of demons.
Sandman occupies an important place in pop culture history. Gaiman’s seminal 10-volume graphic novel series, created in collaboration with artists Sam Kieth, Mike Dringenberg, Jill Thompson, Shawn McManus, Marc Hempel, Michael Zulli, Todd Klein, and Dave McKean, is a rich tale of fantasy and myth, beginning with the return of Morpheus, the Lord of Dreams, after decades of imprisonment. Beginning with its publication in 1989, Sandman quickly established itself as a groundbreaking work that, along with Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons‘ Watchmen and Art Spiegelman‘s Maus, helped establish comics as a legitimate medium for storytelling.
It has also been one of the comic book world’s most notoriously difficult-to-adapt properties, after decades of endless (pun intended) unsuccessful efforts to bring the story of Dream and his metaphysical siblings to the screen. Right now a TV series adaptation, overseen by Gaiman and David S. Goyer, is in the works at Netflix, but the Audible audio drama is our first chance to see (or, rather, hear) how this epic story works in dramatic form.
While Gaiman is intimately involved as the narrator, the adaptation was written and directed by Dirk Maggs, whose previous credits include audio versions of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, The X-Files: Cold Cases, and a 2013 version of Neverwhere that also starred McAvoy. Sheen, of course, is also no stranger to the world of Gaiman’s work, having starred in last year’s Amazon/BBC adaptation of Good Omens.
The rest of Maggs’ cast also includes Riz Ahmed, Justin Vivian Bond, Arthur Darvill, Kat Dennings as Death, Taron Egerton, William Hope, Josie Lawrence, Miriam Margolyes, Samantha Morton, Bebe Neuwirth, and Andy Serkis. Audible will release the first installment (covering Volumes 1-3 of the graphic novels) on July 15 — check out the clip below.