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Despite being a god to fantasy fans worldwide, author Neil Gaiman hasn't made a major impact at the movies. As a novelist, short story and graphic novel writer, he has proven prolific in unleashing strange, bittersweet tales that capture the imaginations of his readers and sometimes haunt their dreams. It's because of his incredible storytelling and vivid imagery that filmmakers have attempted to adapt his fairy tale novel Stardust and creepy novella Coraline. However, while critics widely cheered the latter and were warmly receptive of the former, neither made the kind of box office that urges studios to take a gamble on a more ambitious Gaiman adaptation.
Back in 2010, a few months before Kick-Ass would debut, writer-director Matthew Vaughn, who had helmed Stardust, admitted he wanted to make a movie of Neil Gaiman's beloved comic book series The Sandman, one of the few graphic novels to ever earn a spot on the coveted New York Times Bestseller List. However, he lamented the would-be fantasy feature that has been bouncing around Warner Bros since the late 1990s is "stuck in development hell." And since then, there's been no sign of it.
However, we now can get a look of the film that may never be as Gaiman recently tweeted a link to the concept art he used in pitching the project to Warner Bros.
Created by comic book artist Jill Thompson, these striking watercolors unveil the winding tale of Morpheus, the Lord of Dreams, whose adventures fold in familiar figures from ancient mythology, fairy tales and DC comics. See who you can spot below.
To see many more of Thompson's thoughtful and evocative depictions of The Sandman's unrealized movie adaption, check out Cadence Comic Art, where many of these wondrous watercolors are currently on sale.