The Sandman Season 2: potential Netflix release date, plot, and returning cast with Tom Sturridge
Tom Sturridge will return in a second series of The Sandman for Netflix, which is expected to adapt the Neil Gaiman comics Seasons of Mist and A Game of You
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The Sandman is returning for a second series. After months of speculation, Neil Gaiman confirmed that Netflix had commissioned another season of The Sandman, with Tom Sturridge set to return as Dream of the Endless.
The second series is expected to adapt a comic arc that saw Dream become caretaker of Hell, and will likely arrive on Netflix in early 2024. Beyond that, though, a lot of what we know about The Sandman Season 2 is up for debate - from who might return to what form the series could take.
Here’s everything you need to know about The Sandman Season 2 ahead of its eventual Netflix release.
What’s it about? Which comics arc will it cover?
The Sandman follows Dream of the Endless (also known as Morpheus), an anthropomorphic personification of dreams and nightmares. The first series charted his time in captivity and his eventual escape, and then in turn his efforts to restore his realm after the time he spent away.
It’s an adaptation of a graphic novel written by Neil Gaiman, which itself collects 75 comics written between 1989 and 1996. The first series adapted the first 18 comics, which account for the first three arcs in The Sandman: Preludes and Nocturnes, The Doll’s House, and Dream Country.
A second season of The Sandman will likely therefore adapt Seasons of Mists, which sees Dream become Caretaker of Hell when Lucifer abandons her post, and A Game of You, which sees the Dreaming encounter a new threat in the form of the Cuckoo.
Who stars in The Sandman Season 2? Which new characters might appear?
Tom Sturridge will return to play Dream of the Endless once again. Sturridge has previously starred in The Hollow Crown, Sweetbitter, and Velvet Buzzsaw. More recently, he’s appeared in the HBO series Irma Vep, playing Mira’s ex-partner.
Beyond that, we don’t quite know how will and won’t appear in The Sandman Season. It’s likely, though, we’ll see some characters return – Gwendoline Christie (Game of Thrones) as Lucifer, Jenna Coleman (Doctor Who) as Constantine, and Patton Oswalt (Ratatouille) as Matthew the Raven, for example.
It’s also expected we’ll see the introduction of the rest of the Endless, Dream’s siblings. You’ll want to keep a particular eye out for Delirium, Dream’s erratic younger sister and a key character in the comics (whether the search for Destruction, their missing brother, will take place in Season 2 or a potential Season 3 remains to be seen).
Writing on his tumblr in April 2023, Neil Gaiman offered a brief update: "Scripts are written. We are casting the first episode we will be shooting. Sets are being designed."
Who writes and directs?
The adaptation was developed by Neil Gaiman, David S. Goyer (Batman Begins), and Allan Heinberg (Wonder Woman). All three are expected to be involved in the upcoming series of The Sandman.
At present, we don’t yet know who will direct Season 2. It seems likely enough, though, that at least some of the Season 1 directors – such as Mike Barker (To Kill a King), Andrés Baiz (Narcos), Coralie Fargeat (Revenge) and Louise Hooper (Flesh & Blood) – will return. Jamie Childs (Doctor Who), who was lead director on The Sandman’s first series, is also likely to return.
Is there a trailer?
Not quite yet, for obvious reasons – it’s waaaay too early – but author Neil Gaiman did share this brief teaser alongside the initial Season 2 announcement.
When will The Sandman Season 2 be released?
It’s far too early to tell! The first series of The Sandman took, depending on how when you start counting, decades to develop – luckily for fans this will likely be a bit faster.
It took around ten months to film the first series of The Sandman, from October 2020 through to August 2021, with the series finishing post-production and then being released in August 2022. You can expect both stages of production to be a little faster this go around – with more elements already in places, and less disruption as a result of coronavirus – but speculatively it seems unlikely that The Sandman will return until early 2024.
Notably, though, there's been some suggestion that Season 2 - which Netflix are actually pointedly not referring to as "Season 2" - might not follow the traditional Netflix binge release model. Late last year, Netflix executive Peter Friedlander told Variety that "there are decisions that haven’t been made [about the form S2 will take], but we are considering batching approaches. Everything’s on the table when it comes to Sandman. It’s an innovative show."
There's something deliberately cryptic about Friedlander's answer, which is open to interpretation either way, but as Netflix has increasingly experimented with different release models (see: You S4, which was made available in two halves a month apart) it could be assumed that there are plans for something similar with Sandman. Perhaps, rather than a full ten-episode second series, Netflix will release occasional bouts of episodes - three here, three there, etc - each covering a different volume of Gaiman's comics?
How many episodes will The Sandman Season 2 be?
A surprisingly difficult question! More likely than not it’ll be a ten-episode series, like the first was initially announced to be.
Fans will remember, of course, that The Sandman’s first season was followed by a surprise animated episode, adapting two of the short stories from the original comic run. Will Season 2 be accompanied by a similar special? Given the popularity of the first, it seems likely that there will at least be discussion of it as a possibility.
(All of which assumes of course that The Sandman will receive a traditional second season, which it might not necessarily.)
Will there be a Constantine spin-off with Jenna Coleman?
Johanna Constantine, an exorcist played by Jenna Coleman, was one of the most popular characters on The Sandman. There was a lot of demand for a spinoff for her character, with both Gaiman and Coleman responding enthusiastically to the idea.
While it’s difficult to say either way, it seems unlikely that such a spinoff would actually develop: Constantine is a character more closely connected to the wider DC comics universe, and there’s often a lot of competing and contrasting internal plans for the character that tend to cancel one another out.
We do know at the moment that a movie with Keanu Reeves as Constantine is in development (a sequel to an earlier film where Reeves played the character), which would likely prevent a Jenna Coleman version reaching screens.
Why should I watch The Sandman Season 2?
It’ll be one to wait for eagerly if you were a fan of the first series. And, of course, if you’ve not yet seen the first series, you might enjoy The Sandman if you’re a fan of any of the cast, or if you tend to be into this sort of austere high fantasy.