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Small Details You Missed In The Trailer For Netflix's Sandman

As any fan of "The Sandman" will tell you, the road from script to screen can sometimes be a long and arduous journey (via The Hollywood Reporter). More than two decades since development on this property's live-action adaptation began, fans are finally getting their first look via the first official trailer for Netflix's "Sandman." A far cry from the similarly named 1958 musical number by the Chordettes, the streamer's upcoming series is actually based on the popular DC comics issues written by Neil Gaiman (via IMDb).

Although dreams are often viewed as an intangible landscape created by subconscious thoughts, this version of the story paints a very different picture. Starring Jenna Coleman, Boyd Holbrook, David Thewlis, Gwendoline Christie, Tom Sturridge, and Patton Oswalt, Netflix's "The Sandman" looks to be a dark and tantalizingly entertaining tale of wonder.

The story follows an entity known as Dream (Sturridge) who escapes an extended period of confinement, only to find his former realm in utter shambles. As a master of dreams and nightmares, Dream is privy to the inner workings of all who slumber, and he represents just one embodied aspect of human psychology. His 'siblings' are Death (Kirby Howell-Baptiste), Destiny, Delirium, Desire (Mason Alexander Park), Despair (Donna Preston), and Destruction, and each one has its own realm and area of jurisdiction. 

Of course, this is bound to be a series where the devil is in the details. Let's take a look at the small details included in the first trailer that may only be apparent to the most hardcore followers of The Endless!

Mad Hettie offers a warning

In the very first moments of the trailer, Johanna Constantine (Jenna Coleman) is confronted by someone who appears to be a vagabond. In a sentence that ominously refers to him as "the oneiromancer," the woman explains that Morpheus (aka Dream) is back, and Johanna responds with a confused look, claiming the boogeyman is just a fairy tale and doesn't actually exist. 

However, the scamp quickly elaborates and insists that he is real. In the course of the short debate, we are shown quick cuts to another scene in which the character escapes from a facility of some kind. From the look of things, Morpheus isn't a character to be trifled with lightly. Despite the bad omen offered by the woman, Constantine responds with a simple and nonchalant "Good to know." However, this errant itinerant isn't just some throwaway role, but rather an important character that is ripped straight from the comics.

Known as Mad Hettie, this individual is over 200 years old, and has been labeled a witch. Specializing in forms of prophecy, Mad Hettie lives a homeless lifestyle on the streets of London. Claiming to have hidden her heart from Death, Mad Hettie first appears in the Sandman comic "Preludes and Nocturnes." She is often characterized by her somewhat abrasive personality, as well as her general disgust towards modern-day youth, which makes sense considering the character was born in 1741!

A noteworthy change to Dream's escape

Within Neil Gaiman's comics, Dream has a history that extends well before actual recorded history. In fact, his dealings with others span the likes of Roman emperors, William Shakespeare, and other immortal beings. As such, his power is well known and respected in some occult circles. 

In 1916, Dream is accidentally captured in a magical snare designed to trap Death, and he spends several decades inside a crystalline prison augmented with magical runes as a result. In his absence, humanity suffers because of the missing god of dreams, with some sleeping too much, others not enough, and some experiencing traumatizing nightmares. However, he manages to escape his confinement when the runes holding him in place are accidentally scuffed by a wheelchair. 

However, in the trailer for "The Sandman," it would seem as if his prison is shattered by gunfire by scared guards. In the scene, the guards rush into a room and demand that Dream puts his hands up. Of course, Dream has no intention of doing so and appears to put them to sleep with dream-inducing sand. This already represents a significant departure from the comics, where he escapes as a matter of mere serendipity. 

Meet Desire

As previously stated, Dream is not the only embodiment of the human condition, and his siblings are known as The Endless. Existing before recorded history, each one is immortal, powerful, and the absolute authority on whatever aspect they represent. While Dream helps guide people throughout their sleeping lives, his siblings sometimes take a more or less direct approach, and their influence can manipulate, control, enhance, or destroy the mortal lives they touch. In the trailer for "The Sandman," one of his siblings is front and center –- Desire (Mason Alexander Park).

Desire, despite the name, can be somewhat heartless when it comes to their siblings. Often presenting with a certain degree of androgyny, Desire can appear to be whatever gender they choose to whomever they choose. Often at odds with their siblings due to their impulsive nature, Desire cares little for the outcome of their actions. Appearing in "The Sandman" trailer, Desire wears a white suit and short hair. In one scene, they are shown staring into a mirror. Desire is often a foil to Dream's plans, and it will be interesting to see how that dynamic plays out with this upcoming series.

Dr. Dee holds the Dreamstone Ruby

On top of the plethora of extra-planar entities lurking about in "The Sandman," there are also quite a few human adversaries. One such mortal, Dr. John Dee, is played by "Harry Potter" alum David Thewlis. In one scene of the trailer, Dee holds a mysterious ruby in the palm of his hand. However, this ruby isn't just some ornate gemstone. In fact, this piece of jewelry is actually a part of the powerful relics that contain a fraction of Dream's power. 

Notably, the comic-book version of the same character has a long history with this important relic. In fact, Dee spends some time in Arkham Asylum, the very same psychiatric hospital of Batman fame. However, unlike some of Bruce Wayne's more classical foes, Dee's time in the facility is not particularly permanent. The power of Dream's ruby actually allows Dee to escape while also granting him immense power. Unfortunately, the gemstone takes a heavy toll on human users, and both his mind and body rapidly decay from its usage.

Known as 'The Dreamstone,' the ruby is one of the items that Dream uses to maintain his power and influence and is one of the objects that Dream must recover in order to regain his former status. However, considering that the good Doctor is in current possession of the ruby in "The Sandman" trailer, it would seem as if Dream is set on an unavoidable collision course with Dee.

The Corinthian's tears of blood

Although Dream certainly has a number of human foes, the heart of "The Sandman" is supernatural. As such, one of the greatest villains Dream faces is one of his own creations. The Corinthian, who will be played by "Logan" actor Boyd Holbrook in the Netflix series, is originally one of Dream's nightmare creations. However, like all hubristic inventors before him, Dream comes to realize that his creation is wreaking havoc on the world. 

After the Corinthian breaches the boundaries between the sleeping and waking world in order to kill, Dream admonishes his creation and plans for his destruction. Unfortunately for humanity, Dream is stopped at the last moment from banishing his creation, and the Corinthian is freed from his former master's oversight and rules. Considering the fact that this trailer finds Dream after several decades in confinement, it seems likely that the Corinthian has enjoyed the intervening years terrorizing humanity without his master's watchful eye.

The Corinthian first appears in comic-book form in "Sandman #10," but in the trailer for "The Sandman," he proclaims that his master is now free as rain pours against the window, and a side shot of the character reveals bloody tears that stream down his ace. With both mortal and immortal foes to deal with, and a crumbling realm in desperate need of attention, Dream certainly has his work cut out for him.

Season 1 of "The Sandman" will debut on Netflix on August 5.