Kick-Ass director Matthew Vaughn thinks that DC Comics' Sandman should be made into an HBO series, and creator Neil Gaiman agrees. Shame it'll probably never happen.
Vaughn — no stranger to adapting Gaiman projects to film, having made the movie version of Stardust — told MTV that he and Gaiman had "talked about it [and] I think as a movie it's virtually impossible to make properly," and he's probably not wrong - although, as Watchmen has shown, slavish devotion to source material doesn't necessarily produce the best results, either. It's not that I disagree that Sandman's structure, length and density (in a good way) make it more suited for longform adaptation than a movie. (The variety of the comic, both tonally and in terms of subject matter, is a lot of why it was as good as it was.) It's more that I think that TPTB at DC Entertainment and Warners, who make such decisions, are unlikely to see an HBO television series as lucrative as a potential Lord of The Rings-scale movie franchise, probably centered around the main throughline of the contemporary parts of the series (Essentially, a trilogy adapting Preludes And Nocturnes/A Doll's House, Season of Mists/Brief Lives and The Kindly Ones/The Wake, if you like).
Both Sandman and spin-off Death have long been discussed as possible movies, but dissent over direction, cost and many other matters has kept it from getting further than talk. If there's a lesson to be learned for fans from Watchmen, however, it's that something with the critical acclaim of this particular series can't escape the silver screen forever. Here's hoping that, when it eventually happens, it comes from someone who cares as much about the material as Vaughn.