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Netflix’s Sandman Comic-Con Trailer Breakdown: Every Easter Egg And Detail You Missed

At The Sandman panel at SDCC 2022, Netflix debuted a full-length trailer for its upcoming adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s beloved comic book series, which will release in less than a month..

The live-action adaptation of The Sandman has been a long time coming; plans to bring Dream’s (or Morpheus’) stories to the big screen have been floating around since the 1990s, with the project stagnating for a number of years. That is until Netflix got the rights in 2019, and finally, the streaming series is arriving next month.

We’ve pored over the latest trailer for The Sandman and compared it to the comics. While there are a lot of clips that we’ve seen in previous trailers, there are plenty of new scenes to get excited about, including a closer look at the Corinthian, a nightmare villain with sharpened teeth for eyes (yes, really), and a glimpse at the events of perhaps the most harrowing Sandman story, “24 Hours.”

Also make sure to check out our breakdowns for the Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves and Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power trailers.

The Sandman debuts on Netflix on August 5.

1. The Gates of Hell

Early in the series, Morpheus (Tom Sturridge) must go to Hell to retrieve his lost helm, and here, we see the Endless entering the gates of the realm. There are bodies entombed in the walls, and beyond the gate, we can see the outline of Squatterbloat, the demon who guards it. If you look closely enough, you can see the ax that makes up his arm.

2. Desire

Above is The Threshold, home to Desire, who is one of Dream’s siblings. The Threshold is a giant statue of Desire made of flesh and blood, and Desire takes residence in its heart, naturally.

3. The Corinthian

We see a lot of the Corinthian (Boyd Holbrook) in this trailer. The Corinthian is a nightmare that was created by Dream, but during Dream’s imprisonment, escaped the dreaming and fled to the waking world, where he killed without remorse and encouraged a legion of followers to do the same. Upon learning that the Corinthian is terrorizing the United States, Dream sets out to find him. Later in the trailer, we catch a glimpse of their confrontation, with Dream menacingly saying, “My creations do not walk amongst the living killing mortals for pleasure.”

4. A Daring Escape

At the very beginning of The Sandman, Dream is captured. His captor is Roderick Burgess (Charles Dance), Lord Magus of the Order of the Ancient Mysteries, an occult group who attempts to capture and enslave Morpheus’ sibling Death but captures the lord of dreams instead. Here we see him escape his sleeping jailors.

5. A Tale of Two Constantines

While in The Sandman books, John Constantine is the one to help Dream track down his missing pouch of sand, but in the Netflix series, it’s Johanna (Jenna Coleman). According to author Neil Gaiman, “The rights situation with John is certainly circumscribed right now. But the plan to have Lady Johanna and Joanna be in the story and played by the same person was there from the start. It seemed tidier. So it worked out.” Lady Johanna is John’s 18th-century ancestor who also helps Dream retrieve something he’s lost.

6. Rose and Jed Walker

We glimpse Rose Walker (Kyo Ra) and her younger brother Jed (Eddie Karanja) in an elevator. In the comics, Rose joins up with her friend Gilbert to track down her estranged younger brother, only to discover that the aunt and uncle he’s in the care of are dead. It looks like the Netflix show might play out a little differently, as in this shot, we see Rose wearing a convention badge. In the comics, she and Gilbert (Stephen Fry) accidentally stay at a hotel that’s hosting a convention for serial killers, where the Corinthian is the guest of honor, but Jed is held elsewhere.

7. John Dee

Here we get a good look at David Thewlis as John Dee, star of perhaps the most twisted issue of The Sandman, 24 Hours. John Dee, or Doctor Destiny, is imprisoned in Arkham Asylum, where his mother visits him and gives him an amulet borne from a pact made with a demon and Morpheus’ Dreamstone. After escaping from Arkham Asylum, Dee uses the Dreamstone to toy with the minds of a group of people inside a diner, forcing them to bow to his will and even kill each other. Later on, we see two people inside the diner kissing and following that, blood splattering against the window.

8. The Palace of Lucifer

Here we see Dream standing at Lucifer’s (Gwendoline Christie) palace doorway.

9. Hell’s Demons

Dream goes to Hell to retrieve a helm that a demon has stolen from him. He does not know the name of the demon, so Lucifer gathers all of them so that Dream can find him.

10. Lucifer Quits

This moment could either be just an establishing shot of Lucifer in Hell, but at some point during the comic series, the Lord of Hell simply quits, empties the realm of damnation of all the demons who live there, and gives the key to Morpheus. As there’s no one around Lucifer and nothing except the scorched floor of Hell, it’s possible that the Netflix series will touch upon this storyline too.

11. Gargoyles

In previous trailers, we’ve seen a glimpse of Goldie, the baby gargoyle that belongs to Abel, but now we get a clear shot of Cain’s (Sanjeev Bhaskar) large green gargoyle Gregory. In the source material, Gregory finds a weakened Dream wandering the Dreaming and brings him to Cain and Abel. Later in the trailer, a weakened Dream appears to draw power from Gregory.

12. Death Becomes Her

“The Sound of Her Wings” is perhaps one of the most endearing issues of The Sandman, where a depressed Dream spends the day at work with his elder sister, Death. Dream and Death’s relationship is key to many events in The Sandman, so we’ll hopefully see a lot more of Death (Kirby Howell-Baptiste).

13. Desire

Desire is a bit of a menace in The Sandman, often opting to meddle in the affairs of others just to keep things interesting. Here we get a look at Mason Alexander Park in the role, explaining to Dream that “things have changed.”

14. Look Into My Eyes

In the comics, Dream’s eyes are black with twinkling stars. While impractical for every shot in the Netflix series, Neil Gaiman has promised we’ll see them occasionally.

15. Inhabitants of the Dreaming

Here’s a look at Mervyn Pumpkinhead (Mark Hamill), the grouchy, chain-smoking janitor of the Dreaming, talking to Lucienne (Vivienne Acheampong) and Matthew the Raven (Patton Oswalt).

16. Sandwoman

This could be Rachel, an ex-lover of John Constantine who was a drug addict. Eventually, she became addicted to the magical sand that Dream carries in a pouch. This could be the sequence where Morpheus and Johanna Constantine arrive to take it back.

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