Despite having released its 11-episode first season in August 2022, The Sandman wasn't renewed by Netflix for Season 2 until November last year.
Alongside the announcement, creator Neil Gaiman confirmed he will reunite with Netflix, Warner Bros., and executive producers Allan Heinberg and David Goyer to "[bring] even more of The Sandman stories to life.”
When Will The Sandman Season 2 Release on Netflix?
Neil Gaiman offered an update on The Sandman Season 2 in April as he confirmed on Tumblr that the "scripts are written" and casting is underway for the first episode, even going as far as to say "sets [were] being designed:"
"Scripts are written. We are casting the first episode we will be shooting. Sets are being designed."
A deleted tweet from author Barry Waldo, husband of The Sandman production designer John Gary Steele revealed the team "started shooting yesterday" (Monday, June 25). This was later corroborated by Daily Mail who shared exclusive photos of the casting on set in the United Kingdom.
However, as the actors' strike began just weeks later on July 14, much of the filming is still to be completed once the strike ends. Gaiman was clear on Tumblr that any potential delay "depends on how long the strike goes:"
"Whether or not any of 'Sandman' is delayed depends on how long the strike goes.
And there won’t be scab scripts on 'Sandman.'"
Exactly when The Sandman will return to Netflix will hinge on whenever the writers' and actors' strikes are finally resolved. But once a deal is finally reached, it appears production will likely resume promptly.
Season 1 was filmed for almost 10 months from October 2020 to August 2021, and took a further year after that before finally coming to Netflix. But as that was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, Season 2 could perhaps end up in the pipeline for less time than the almost two years of last season.
As of now, the chances appear slim The Sandman Season 2 will be coming to Netflix anytime before 2025, but evidence suggests there may be more to the follow-up's production and release than once thought...
Why The Sandman Season 2 May Release in a Unique Format
Netflix's official announcement on The Sandman renewal carefully swerved the term Season 2, instead promising "more episodes and stories."
Meanwhile, Desire actor Mason Alexander Park with suspiciously coy with Digitial Spy about "the format that might take." So, while more episodic tales are coming to Netflix from The Sandman, it appears likely it may avoid the Season 2 label for unclear reasons:
“There is more 'Sandman' coming in a really cool way, and it can take many forms, so we’re starting shooting in the summer, and we’re gonna tackle the next huge chunk of stories in however long that might take. And I’m really excited to share the format of what that might be with everybody eventually.”
One report from Redanian Intelligence claimed the series may be filmed in two halves - June to October 2023 and January to April 2024. But obviously, the ongoing strikes will have thrown a spanner in Netflix's plans, pushing back all the dates in question and possibly even changing plans altogether.
This could point toward plans to release Season 2 in two parts - as Netflix has done recently with Stranger Things and You - possibly allowing the first chapters to come earlier than expected, maybe even in 2024.
Note: While The Sandman's Netflix continuation will seemingly not be dubbed Season 2, as the format for the upcoming episodes is currently unclear, it will continue to be referred to as such throughout this article.
Who Will Return in The Sandman 2's Cast?
The Sandman brought a stellar and expansive cast to Netflix, headed up by Tom Sturridge as Morpheus/Dream, who will once again take the lead for Season 2.
While Netflix has yet to confirm exactly which characters will be back, most of the Season 1 main cast - at least those who made it out the run alive - are currently expected to return for the next batch of episodes:
- Tom Sturridge - Morpheus/Dream
- Gwendoline Christie - Lucifer Morningstar
- Vivienne Acheampong - Lucienne
- Kirby Howell-Baptiste - Death
- Mason Alexander Park - Desire
- Donna Preston - Despair
- Jenna Coleman - Johanna Constantine
- Vanesu Samunyai - Rose Walker
- Eddie Karanja - Jed Walker
- Patton Oswalt - Matthew the Raven
- Sanjeev Bhaskar - Cain
- Asim Chaudhry - Able
- Razane Jammal - Lyta Hall
According to a report from What's on Netflix, the streamer will be casting four new characters from The Sandman comics for Season 2. The outlet revealed these will include three more members of the seven Endless - Delirium, Destruction, and Destiny - along with Barbie's transgender woman best friend Wanda.
The latter is rumored to be played by Pose's Indya Moore, who is transgender and non-binary and was spotted filming with Sturridge in photos from the Daily Mail.
Redanian Intelligence also reported The Punisher star Amber Rose Revah joined the production prior to the start of the strikes, although her role is currently unclear.
The first season's bonus episode revealed Dream's ex-wife Calliope bore him a son called Orpheus, who had supposedly died. Set photos have shown an actor, who appears to be The Morning Show's Ruairi O'Connor, wearing a white outfit akin to Orpheus' from the comics and carrying a lyre - his symbol in mythology.
Whether this will come in a flashback or a surprise resurrection twist, it seems Orpheus will appear in Season 2 and come face-to-face with his father, Dream.
What Will Happen in The Sandman Season 2?
The original comic run of The Sandman ran across 10 volumes, two of which were adapted across Season 1 - Preludes and Nocturnes and The Doll's House. As such, most viewers are expecting Season 2 to dive into the third and fourth volumes of Neil Gaiman tales, those being Dream Country (issues 17 to 20) and Season of Mists (issues 21 to 28).
Although the first two issues in Dream Country have already been adapted in Season 1's bonus episode ("Dream of a Thousand Cats/Calliope"), meaning they ought to be skipped, perhaps allowing a dip into the fifth volume, A Game of You.
So, Season 2 could end up including an encounter with the iconic playwright William Shakespeare as he puts on his play, A Midsummer Night's Dream, for an audience of strange creatures, including the story's characters.
Fans could even see an appearance from DC Comics shape-shifter Element Girl in a story that sees her struggle with her immortality - although this was one of The Sandman's few stories not to include Morpheus, so may well be skipped.
Going into Season of Mists, Season 2 could see Morpheus placed in charge of hell and left searching for its new ruler, which will include interested contenders from many pantheons including gods from Norse, Egyptian, and Japanese mythologies.
How Many Episodes Will The Sandman Season 2 Have?
The Sandman Season 1 debuted on Netflix with ten episodes before coming back just weeks later with a bonus episode that told two more stories from the comic mythos, “A Dream of a Thousand Cats” and “Calliope.”
The episode count for The Sandman's sophomore outing has yet to be confirmed, although Netflix has promised "more episodes and stories" as it continues to avoid referring to the follow-up as Season 2.
As discussed earlier, the new season will reportedly be shot over nine months, the same period as the COVID-19-produced first outing, which would seemingly point to a similar length and episode count to Season 1.
However, according to Redanian Intelligence, The Sandman is expected to return with a shorter eight-episode Season 2 - a count in line with other Netflix shows.
The Sandman is streaming now on Netflix.