Now that we've finally seen something as difficult as Alan Moore's Watchmen turned into a decent, if not groundbreaking, film, the question on many comic fans' minds is whether or not the long-awaited adaptation of Neil Gaiman's Sandman may finally happen.
The past month has been a slew of conflicting reports on a possible television version directed by Supernatural creator Eric Kripke. First it was on, then it was off, then DC Comics spokesman Geoff Johns announced via Twitter that it was on.
Gaiman himself weighed in recently that the rights to the work haven't even been optioned that he knows of, though he's certainly open to anyone who could do the vast and complex 10-volume comic justice.
Personally, Gothtopia has our doubts it can be done. There are few battles, it's definitely R-rated, and the comic primarily deals with the lead character's exploration of the nature of faith and change. However, we decided to open the floor to other learned peers. So, by eating the set list Peter Murphy left behind two weeks ago, we summoned The Gothic Council!
Joining the Council this week is Punky Moms founder Sarah Fanning; blogger, derby girl, and hearse enthusiast Desiree Stark; author and fashion designer Carmilla Voiez; and Asmodeus X singer Paul Fredric.
Gothtopia: Do you really believe they can make a Sandman TV series?
Sarah Fanning: It depends. Will Gaiman be directly involved? If so, I think it could be a very good thing. Look at Joss Whedon's shows. If not, then I shudder at the thought of what drivel it may be...
Carmilla Voiez: I'm not entirely confident with my knowledge of graphic novels and their adaptions onto the big and small screen. I've done a little reading around the subject now and some say Gaiman is involved. However, my understanding is that didn't stop Neverwhere being a bit pants.
Gothtopia: A note to our readers. Carmilla is British. We will translate as needed. She is saying that Neverwhere was not as exceptional as it could have been despite Gaiman's involvement.
Carmilla Voiez: The worry, I guess, is that if it is awful people will be discouraged from discovering the stories in graphic novel form. Personally, I think that would be a shame. It will be interesting to see what happens as it looks fairly certain to go ahead eventually.
Desiree Stark: I'm distracted by the fact that a Chief Creative Officer for DC is making press releases on Twitter. It's a bad portent when the resources committed to the project are only 140 characters - or less.
Paul Fredric: Hard to say which way it will go; even harder if we're talking TV series vs. film. If they keep it dark it will probably at least look good. If it was a movie they would have to worry about market demographics and stuff and think about how it would do in the malls.
We might even be able to look forward to a new Xbox/PS3 game release. But TV series? TV is such a wild card - a series that is pure shit can run for years, and then something that is amazing can get cancelled at the flick of a switch. Remember the original Battlestar Galactica? Cancelled after one lousy season? Yes, 30 years later I'm still sore about this.
If there is no justice in the universe, there is even less in the TV universe. And if you don't know what I'm talking about with the original Battlestar Galactica stop reading now because nothing else I say will make any sense.
Sounds like Eric Kripke, creator of Supernatural might be involved? I would consider that a good omen as that series held momentum for a good couple of years. Jury's still out on the last season, but he doesn't get squeamish about the idea of Lucifer getting involved - another good sign. Sandman presented rather a unique take on metaphysics - some kind of universal transcendent polytheism - that will take some serious work to transpose into a TV series.
Watchmen is another recent example of an '80s graphic novel adaptation and I was equally nervous about that. But Zack Snyder did an awesome job - dark, not cheesy, true to the story line and paying due tribute to the '80s vibe from which it came. The awkwardly raunchy sex scene with Malin Akerman didn't hurt either.
But getting back to the idea of a "story," if they keep anything from the original books for Sandman - I'm thinking "A Game of You" - I will be grooving on it at least a little bit. And we all know Death really set the mold for the '80s/'90s Goth Girl. But this is TV so you're talking about unknown actors, low-brow effects, commercial breaks, etc.
Also expect a lot of divergence from the original stories - if present at all - in TV, as they tend to write as they go and end up focusing on corny romantic interations of the characters.
Thinking of what Carmilla said, I have to say that whether it is good or bad will probably have little to no effect on whether people go back and read the graphic novels, but we can cross our fingers.
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No one I know went out and bought Watchmen after seeing the movie. It's not the kind of material you can encourage people to check out...it's rather the sort of thing that some folks seek out on their own after concluding every other option is just far too mediocre and corrupt.
Like John Lydon said, "I do still have hope for the human race...but not very much"