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Neil Gaiman and Allan Heinberg discuss the difficulties of adapting the diner episode of Netflix's Sandman

Chatting adaptation, diner menus, and more

Image of Neil Gaiman and Allan Heinberg with masked figure at Sandman Press event
Image credit: Netflix

Following the Sandman Hall H panel at San Diego Comic Con, Popverse had a chance to sit down with showrunner and executive producer Allan Heinberg and Sandman creator and executive producer Neil Gaiman to chat about adapting Gaiman's iconic comic Sandman for the screen.

When asked what was the most difficult part of the comic to adapt, Heinberg answered that it was particularly difficult to adapt the classic '24 Hours' issue. "The Diner Episode was the most challenging because of the way the comic book itself was structured and built. Once I sort of figured out how I wanted to do it, it was the most rewarding experience too. I think that was the most radical departure from the structure of the comics."

As for their process, Heinberg shared that they always started with the comic, but when adapting directly didn't work, they'd try something else with an aim of evoking the book. "I really wanted the audience, if they read the books, to feel like— this is the Sandman I remember."

Gaiman points out that one of the cool parts of working on the project is that when Heinberg had a question about the diner, Gaiman could reach out to Mike Dringenberg about whether the diner was based on a real place. And it was—in Salt Lake City (though it has been closed since). Dringenberg was able to provide a link to photos of the restaurant and even the menu. Gaiman shared that the menu design actually makes an appearance in the show. "Nobody knows, nobody cares except us, but that's the menu that's in the diner."

Sandman is streaming now on Netflix.

To check out who else Popverse talked to this year at San Diego Comic Con, check out our Popverse's SDCC coverage roundup.

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About the Author
Tiffany Babb avatar

Tiffany Babb

Deputy Editor

Tiffany Babb is Popverse's deputy editor and resident Sondheim enthusiast. Tiffany likes stories that understand genre conventions (whether they play into them or against them), and she cries very easily at the movies— but rarely at the moments that are meant to be tearjerkers.