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This Notorious Marvel Bomb Is The Reason We've Waited So Long For A Sandman Adaptation

For many comic book readers, Netflix's "The Sandman" is something that they've been waiting years to see. The highly anticipated new show is based on Neil Gaiman's iconic "Sandman" comic book series, which began in the late 1980s and came to an end in 1996. Ever since its publication, fans of "The Sandman" have been waiting to see Gaiman's acclaimed comic book series be adapted into a live-action film or TV show. Now, over 25 years after Gaiman's original comic book series came to an end, "The Sandman" is coming to Netflix.

In case that wasn't exciting enough, theĀ first trailer for Netflix's "The Sandman" does seem to capture the spirit of Gaiman's seminal comic book series. Indeed, there are even a number of small details in the trailer for "The Sandman" that comic book fans have been obsessing over ever since the teaser's release. However, while all the early promotional materials for "The Sandman" have been promising, fans won't know until the show's premiere whether or not it's actually a successful adaptation of its source material.

As a matter of fact, it was seeing other comic book properties be repeatedly adapted into unsuccessful movies and TV shows that made Gaiman so hesitant for so long to officially support an adaptation of "The Sandman." In a recent interview, Gaiman even revealed the one notoriously bad comic book movie that fans can point to as the reason why they've had to wait so long for a live-action version of "The Sandman."

Neil Gaiman is not a fan of 1986's Howard the Duck

In a recent interview with Total Film, Neil Gaiman opened up about how long it has taken for an adaptation of "The Sandman" to actually get made. Gaiman, who is an executive producer on the new Netflix adaptation (via IMDb), told the outlet, "I didn't have faith that we'd always get here, but I had faith that the important thing was to stop bad versions being made. Once a bad version is made, you never quite come back from that."

Gaiman elaborated on his latter point, revealing that there was one bad comic book adaptation, in particular, that made him hesitant to support any adaptation of "The Sandman" that he felt didn't accurately represent the spirit and quality of its source material. "It may sound silly," Gaiman said, "but when I was 14 or 15, my favorite comic was 'Howard The Duck.'" The writer went on to say, "I was so excited when I heard George Lucas was making a movie. And then 'A New Breed Of Hero' [the 1986 movie's alt-title] came out. 'Howard The Duck' became a bad joke."

It's for that reason that Gaiman remained uncertain for a long time about whether or not a faithful adaptation of "The Sandman" would ever be brought to life on-screen. Recalling how the reception to "Howard the Duck" negatively affected the reputation of its source material, Gaiman said, "I never wanted that to happen to 'Sandman' and I saw scripts that would have made that happen."

In other words, it sounds like comic book readers can blame none other than 1986's "Howard the Duck" for how long they've had to wait for an adaptation of "The Sandman." Fortunately, that wait is nearly over, with "The Sandman" set to premiere Friday, August 5 on Netflix.