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Why Sandman Readers Will Be Surprised By The Corinthian In Season 1

Contains spoilers for "The Sandman" Episodes 1 and 2

Fans of Neil Gaiman's beloved "The Sandman" graphic novel have been waiting decades for a proper adaptation. When self-professed admirer Joseph Gordon-Levitt wrote a tweet in 2013 saying, "Ladies and gentlemen, I'm incredibly honored to be working with David Goyer, Warner Bros., and @neilhimself on 'Sandman,'" fans were ecstatic. But then, three years later, Gordon-Levitt posted on Facebook that he discovered "New Line and I just don't see eye to eye on what makes 'Sandman' special, and what a film adaptation could/should be. So, unfortunately, I decided to remove myself from the project. I wish nothing but the best for the team moving forward." Once again, the project was stalled.

But then Netflix made a deal with Warner Bros. Television in 2019, intending to make "The Sandman" into a TV series instead (via The Hollywood Reporter). Around this time, Gaiman realized — while working on the Audible version of "The Sandman" — that the characters and the story would change with the times. "There's definitely the intention that we're going, 'Okay, well, if this were now, if I was creating 'Sandman' now, would I have done that thing? Would I have written that?'" he told Collider in 2020. "Probably not. So we're doing some of that stuff now and just enjoying ourselves." It sounds like Gaiman has high hopes for "The Sandman" to last

One character that has seen their story expand in Netflix's "The Sandman" is the Corinthian (Boyd Holbrook), and fans of the graphic novels may be surprised by how much.

The Corinthian plays a bigger role in the Netflix series

In Netflix's "The Sandman" series, the Corinthian plays a much more significant role in Season 1 than in the graphic novels. A nightmare created by Dream (Tom Sturridge) has gone rogue. The Corinthian not only plays a role in Dream's imprisonment but in trying to eradicate him. Readers will be happy that his personality and appearance are as described in the novels: a charming narcissist who kills because he relishes it. Instead of eyes, he has tiny, jagged teeth in his eye sockets, and when he kills his victims, he takes their eyeballs and places them in the empty sockets, "eating" them.

In Episode 1, as Dream is about to bring the Corinthian back to The Dreaming after he's escaped to the living world and killed someone, Dream gets sucked into Roderick Burgess' (Charles Dance) trap. Unlike the graphic novel, where the Corinthian continues to kill people in the waking world happily, Episode 1 sees him instruct Burgess on how to keep Dream imprisoned. The Corinthian also seeks out Dream's tools and amulet owners in the series to warn them of Dream's return.

As the series progresses, it's clear that the Corinthian is being positioned as one of the main antagonists. Boyd Holdbrook is such a phenomenal actor and melts effortlessly into the skin of the Corinthian, so it's refreshing seeing more of him on the screen. Hopefully, readers of the novels will feel the same.