Neil Gaiman sabotaged a Sandman movie by deliberately leaking the script because it was that bad

Tom Sturridge as Morpheus in The Sandman
(Image credit: Netflix)

Neil Gaiman has said he deliberately leaked the script for a Sandman movie because he thought it was just that awful. The script was sent by Jon Peters, whose producing credits include A Star is Born, Man of Steel, and Batman Returns. 

"I haven't read that whole script, [but] I've read as much of the script as I could take," Gaiman told Rolling Stone. "And I'm not sure if it would've been an action movie or quite what it would've been. It was a mess. It never got better than a mess. It had giant mechanical spiders in it."

The author elaborated on just what else was so terrible about it, too. "Lucifer, Morpheus, and the Corinthian were identical triplets," Gaiman explained. "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."

To be clear, Gaiman *really* disliked this script. "'There was nothing in there I loved. There was nothing in there I liked,'" he recalled telling a caller from Peters' office. "'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.'"

Gaiman found himself thinking "what do I do now?" after hanging up the phone – and that's when he decided to leak the script. "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."

The Sandman has finally been brought to live-action in a series for Netflix, which Gaiman was involved in developing. Despite the show's popularity, though, a season 2 hasn't yet been confirmed – and Gaiman has talked about what it would take to get the series renewed for more.

If you're up to date on The Sandman, check out our guide to the best Netflix shows streaming now to fill out your watchlist. 

Molly Edwards
Entertainment Writer

I'm an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering all things film and TV for the site's Total Film and SFX sections. I previously worked on the Disney magazines team at Immediate Media, and also wrote on the CBeebies, MEGA!, and Star Wars Galaxy titles after graduating with a BA in English.