Neil Gaiman Leaked An Awful 'Sandman' Script To Kill It

Neil Gaiman Leaked An Awful 'Sandman' Script To Kill It


Recently, we told you that before The Sandman was a great Netflix show and after it was an even better comic, it was almost a completely godawful movie. In the ‘90s, producer Jon Peters (Batman, Wild Wild West, Kevin Smith’s PTSD flashbacks) was dead set on turning Sandman into some sort of action movie including stuff like a fight with a giant mechanical spider or the revelation that Dream, the Corinthian, and Lucifer were identical triplets. This probably means they all had the same eye color, which is: teeth. 

Dream, Lucifer, and Corinthian in Netflix's The Sandman.


Unless Dream got his eye-teeth tinted black in keeping with the Goth theme. 

Sandman writer Neil Gaiman famously called this "not only the worst Sandman script I've ever seen, but quite easily the worst script I've ever read." Luckily for Gaiman, the project seemed to fall into development hell after the script was leaked to general nerdery website Ain't It Cool News, which gave it a devastating review recommending that Warner Bros. immediately fire the writer and "burn this #$%@ing rag before any real damage is done to the property." Well, 24 years after that fateful review we know that there was nothing "lucky" about it: Gaiman has just admitted that he leaked the script himself to ensure its destruction. 

In a new interview with Rolling Stone, Gaiman remembers talking on the phone with a nice Warner Bros. person who was very enthusiastic about the script and didn't seem terribly fazed by the author's insistence that it was the worst thing that's ever happened. So Gaiman took matters into his own hands: 

"And I put down the phone and I thought, what do I do now?  

So I sent the script to Ain’t It Cool News, which back then was read by people. And I thought, I wonder what Ain’t It Cool News will think of the script that they’re going to receive anonymously. And they wrote a fabulous article about how it was the worst script they’d ever been sent. And suddenly the prospect of that film happening went away. And instead Jon Peters turned his attention to Wild Wild West." Which, not coincidentally, DID include a giant mechanical spider fight, yet somehow failed to win every Oscar.

In retrospect, we probably should have seen this plot twist coming since the AICN article starts with reviewer Drew "Moriarty" McWeeny straight up saying Gaiman gave him the script. He also claims Gaiman delivered it in person after appearing in his office in the middle of the night accompanied by Dream himself, who threatened to meet McWeeny "in his dreams" if he didn't alert the world about this travesty. At this point, we wouldn't be that surprised if Gaiman said that part was 100% true, too. 

He held the script out to me, and I took it, glancing down at the Jon Peters Co. vanity logo on the front. “I need you to do something for me, Moriarty.”  “Me?”  “I need you to read this script and tell the world about it.”  “But... but why?”  Morpheus suddenly surged forward, and all I could see were his eyes, pools of endless black, and a chill ran through me. “You will do this thing, Moriarty, because it pleases me. You will do this because this script displeases me. Mainly, you will do it so that we do not meet in your dreams tonight. Understood?”

This sounds like the start of a very interesting fan fiction story. 

Follow Maxwell Yezpitelok's heroic effort to read and comment on every '90s Superman comic at 

Top image: Netflix, Warner Bros. Pictures 


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