Marvel Studios Rejected Sandman Creator's New Movie/Show Pitch

By Pierre Chanliau Posted:
Sandman, Marvel Studios

Neil Gaiman is currently working on helping adapt by far his most famous work, Sandman, into a series for Netflix. However, being a prolific writer, Gaiman has penned not only novels but comic books too, writing for both DC and Marvel over the decades. One series that stood out from Marvel was Gaiman's "1602," which re-imagined the Marvel Universe in the year 1602.

Incidentally, it was revealed during the Marvel Studios Animation Panel at San Diego Comic-Con that at least one episode of What If...? would be based on the comic.

But, it was also revealed that Gaiman had grander ideas for an adaptation years ago but that Marvel Studios had turned him down.

Old Marvel Turned Neil Gaiman Away

Marvel 1602 Earth 311
Marvel Comics

During The Sandman Panel at San Diego Comic-Con, writer Neil Gaiman revealed that he had asked Marvel Studios about making his limited comic series, "1602," into a film or TV series but was rejected by Marvel's former leadership structure.

Despite being turned down those years ago, Gaiman still expressed interest in his comic being adapted, hopefully under Marvel Studios' new leadership.

Marvel 1602 Doctor Strange
Marvel Comics

Regulated to What If...? Adaptation

Sadly, as audiences attending SDCC learned after being shown the trailer and first episode for the second season of What If...?, the finale appears to be framed around Neil Gaiman's "1602" comic. It would seem a shame to condense down such a huge and expansive world to a single episode of What If...?, let alone a likely bombastic finale.

Perhaps, similar to Marvel Zombies getting its own spin-off after appearing in What If...?, the same will happen to the episode based on "1602." Despite only being eight issues long, it was Gaiman who was so creative with the ways he twisted characters to fit the colonial setting.

Hopefully, a spin-off based on "1602" will be announced by the time What If...? is released on Disney+ in early 2023,

- In This Article: What If...? (Season 2)
Release Date
December 22, 2023
Jeffrey Wright
- About The Author: Pierre Chanliau
Pierre Chanliau began as a news & feature writer for The Direct at the site's launch in 2020. As a longtime reader of superhero comic books, Pierre's knowledge of Marvel and DC is extensive, informing his reporting and editorial pieces regarding the MCU and DCU.