Neil Gaiman has revealed that he was the one who leaked Jon Peters’ The Sandman script to Ain’t It Cool News.
The Sandman is a property that many have tried to adapt over the years. The first successful one was the Netflix show that was released earlier this month though it is not clear if it will get a second season. An attempt to make a live-action adaptation was also tackled by Joseph Gordon-Levitt but the most infamous was the attempt made by Jon Peters.
Jon Peters is a producer with a somewhat controversial reputation, known for his eccentric behavior, and has faced multiple sexual harassment accusations. He was a producer on Tim Burton’s Batman, Wild Wild West, Superman Returns, and A Star Is Born. He was also one of the main driving forces behind the famously canceled Superman film, Superman Lives. But before that, he was one of the early producers who attempted to develop a live-action adaptation of The Sandman.
Another Giant Mechanical Spider
In the past, Neil Gaiman has spoken about Jon Peters’ version of The Sandman and has nothing positive to say about it. At one point he was sent a script of the film they were attempting to make and was flabbergasted by what he read. The script also included a giant mechanical spider which was a bizarre obsession of Peters’ in the 90s. In a recent interview with Rolling Stones, he revealed that he hated the script so much that he sent it to Ain’t It Cool News in the hopes that the leaked script would kill the film:
“I heard about that later. And people were like, ‘Oh, you are kidding.’ And I’m like, ‘No, it had a giant mechanical spider.’ But much more important than that, Lucifer, Morpheus, and the Corinthian were identical triplets. They were a family of identical brothers, and it was all a race to see who could get the ruby, the helm, and the bag of sand before midnight on 1999, before the new millennium started, because whoever got it would be the winner. That was the plot. I remember them phoning me up. And I’m normally, I’m polite and nice if you’re on the phone. I try and find positive things to say to people who phone you up. And a guy in Jon Peters’ office phoned me up and he said, ‘So Neil, have you had a chance to read the script we sent you?’
And I said, ‘Well, yes. Yes, I did. I haven’t read all of it, but I’ve read enough.’ He says, ‘So, pretty good. Huh?’ And I said, ‘Well, no. It really isn’t.’ He said, ‘Oh, come on. There must have been stuff in there you loved.’ I said, ‘There was nothing in there I loved. There was nothing in there I liked. It was the worst script that I’ve ever read by anybody. It’s not just the worst Sandman script. That was the worst script I’ve ever been sent.’ And then there was a pause. He says, ‘Oh, come on. That thing where we made the Corinthian the Sandman’s brother, that was good. Huh?’ And I said, ‘No, that was really stupid.’ And he said, ‘Oh, well, OK. You can’t win them all.’ And I said, ‘No, you really can’t.’ 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.”
Here is the synopsis for Netflix’s The Sandman:
There is another world that waits for all of us when we close our eyes and sleep — a place called the Dreaming, where The Sandman, Master of Dreams (Tom Sturridge), gives shape to all of our deepest fears and fantasies. But when Dream is unexpectedly captured and held prisoner for a century, his absence sets off a series of events that will change both the dreaming and waking worlds forever. To restore order, Dream must journey across different worlds and timelines to mend the mistakes he’s made during his vast existence, revisiting old friends and foes, and meeting new entities — both cosmic and human — along the way.
The Netflix series stars Tom Sturridge, Gwendoline Christie, Vivienne Acheampong, Boyd Holbrook, Charles Dance, Asim Chaudhry, Sanjeev Bhaskar, Kirby Howell-Baptiste, Jenna Coleman, Joely Richardson, David Thewlis, Stephen Fry, Patton Oswalt, and Mark Hamill.
Wonder Woman co-writer Allan Heinberg serves as showrunner, writer, and executive producer on Sandman. In addition to their duties as writers, Neil Gaiman and David S. Goyer are also on board as executive producers.
The Sandman is streaming on Netflix. Stay tuned for all the latest news on the future of the series and be sure to subscribe to Heroic Hollywood’s YouTube channel for more original video content.