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Tom Goodwyn

The Sandman season 2: everything we know about the hit Netflix fantasy show's return

A screenshot of a poster showing The Sandman's many characters, who should return in The Sandman season 2.
The Sandman season 2: key information

- Announced in November 2022
- Principal photography began in June 2023
- Filming halted by Hollywood strikes before restarting in November 2023
- Season 2 is based on fourth and fifth graphic novels in Neil Gaiman-penned book series
- Main cast members expected to return
- New actors and their roles reportedly revealed
- No trailer released yet
- Unclear if show will be renewed for a third season
- One spin-off in development, with others potentially on the way

The Sandman season 2 sleeps no more. The popular Netflix fantasy series' next installment is back in full flow after the 2023 writers and actors strikes, which is a pleasing development after a nightmarish year for everyone in the entertainment business.

Indeed, with principal photography restarting on The Sandman's sophomore outing, fans are once again dreaming about a possible launch date for one of the best Netflix shows' second season. Unfortunately, we don't know when Morpheus will invade our dreams – *ahem* screens – again, but there's plenty of information surrounding its creation that'll tide you over until it's released.

Below, we've rounded up everything you need to know about The Sandman season 2 on Netflix. That includes speculation on its launch date, cast details, potential storylines, and more. Full spoilers follow for The Sandman season 1 and Neil Gaiman's graphic novel series of the same name, while possible spoilers for season 2 are also on the way.

The Sandman season 2 release date: what we know

The Sandman season 2 doesn't have a release date, but it's nonetheless pleasing to learn it was renewed for another outing and that filming has restarted following the end of the 2023 Hollywood strikes.

The Sandman season 2 was no longer a dream for Netflix fans after it was announced in November 2022. However, just weeks after principal photography began in June 2023, production was shut down due to said strikes. With resolutions being reached by all parties, The Sandman woke from its slumber for a big season 2 announcement (that it had started shooting again) on November 29.

So, when can we expect to see season 2? We predict a return for The Sandman in early 2025. At the earliest, it'll be the very end of 2024, but the latter would mean huge crunch periods for the VFX-heavy show. We believe Netflix will allow its cast and crew to get every minute detail right before it's ready to air – heck, it took 35 years for a live-action adaptation to finally see the light of day – so we're confident the streaming giant won't rush it out.

The Sandman season 2 rumored cast

Lucienne, Cain, Dream, and Abel should all return for season 2. (Image credit: Netflix)

Spoilers follow for The Sandman season 1.

The Sandman season 2's cast hasn't been revealed yet, but here's who we expect to see again following their appearances in season 1 and the show's bonus episode:

  • Tom Sturridge as Morpheus / Dream
  • Vivienne Acheampong as Lucienne 
  • Patton Oswalt as Matthew the Raven
  • Gwendoline Christie as Lucifer Morningstar
  • Mason Alexander Park as Desire 
  • Jenna Coleman as Johanna Constantine 
  • Kirby Howell-Baptiste as Death 
  • Vanesu Samunyai as Rose Walker 
  • Eddie Karanja as Jed Walker  
  • Razane Jammal as Lyta Hall 
  • Donna Preston as Despair
  • Sanjeev Bhaskar as Cain 
  • Asim Chaudhry as Abel 
  • Melissanthi Mahut as Calliope

There'll be a couple of new faces in the show's sophomore outing, too. At CCXP 2022 (aka Brazil Comic-Con), which was posted on Netflix Brasil's X account, Neil Gaiman confirmed another of the Endless – Delirium, i.e. the immortal group's youngest member – would make their bow. Per a thread posted on the DCEULeaks Reddit forum, Esme Creed-Miles (Hanna) has reportedly been cast as Delirium.

Gaiman also teased (via Entertainment Weekly (EW)) that David Tennant and Michael Sheen, who voiced characters in bonus episode story 'A Dream of Thousand Cats', might appear in the main show at some stage. It's unclear if they'd play the same individuals from that short story, though. 

As for other newcomers, Indya Moore (Pose) was seen filming scenes with Sturridge and Howell-Baptiste prior to the actors strike (per UK newspaper The Daily Mail), although we don't know who they're playing. What's on Netflix also suggests Ruairi O'Connor (The Morning Show) has been cast as Morpheus' son Orpheus, which might also mean the return of Melissanthi Mahut's Calliope, Orpheus' mother and Morpheus' former flame, who starred in the bonus episode's other short story.

The Sandman season 2 story speculation

Lucifer will be gunning for Morpheus in season 2. (Image credit: Netflix)

Full spoilers follow for The Sandman season 1.

Story details are understandably thin on the ground, but there's much we can speculate on, given how season 1 ended.

Before we get into that, though, while we've all been referring to The Sandman's next outing as season 2, we might be misguided in that assessment.

Upon The Sandman's renewal, a Netflix press release simply called it "a continuation of the story", rather than a definitive second season. So, what gives? Well, The Sandman's overarching narrative jumps from one graphic novel to the next, often leaping thousands of years in the process, so the structure of the live-action adaptation's story isn't likely to follow the best streaming service's rigid 10-episode length and/or seasonal terminology. Indeed, speaking to Collider, actor Kirby Howell-Baptiste and Vivienne Acheampong suggested we'll continue to see a non-linear story play out, meaning we could see show's installments denoted as volumes, rather than traditional seasons. 

Expect a tense rematch between Lucifer and Morpheus in the show's next installment. (Image credit: Netflix)

Okay, so what do we know about The Sandman's second outing? It'll draw from the forth and fifth volumes of Gaiman's works – 'Season of Mists' and 'A Game of You' – which the author confirmed to, saying: "Our plans for the second season is the second two graphic novels, which technically, in this case, will be books four and five, with some bits of the short stories in book three scattered among some other stuff."

What that means in practice is complicated. As mentioned, The Sandman is not a linear saga, and what happens in 'Season of Mists' and 'A Game of You' are not related. Whether Gaiman, showrunner Allen Heinberg, and producer David S. Goyer stick to the stories as they're told in the books, or try to rework them into a more linear narrative for general audiences, is unclear. That said, The Sandman season 1 was very faithful, so it's hard to see why things will deviate too far from the original formula.

Alright, so what can we glean from the graphic novels, plus what the cast and crew have told us, about the stories to come?

Per Netflix Tudum, here's a teaser for the show's next chapter: "When last we left Dream, and his friends and foes, the forces of hell were on the move, led by Lucifer themself. The new episodes of the series will dive into that conflict and continue to explore the many challenges facing the universe in the wake of Morpheus’ century-long absence."

Established fans will know how the continuing battle between Hell's overlord and Morpheus plays out. However, for less well-versed fans wanting some more details, we'll let Heinberg reveal more, as he did in a chat with EW: ""The end of episode 1 [of season 2] is Dream saying to Matthew 'I'm going to Hell and I may not come back. So then episode two begins with the rematch between Dream and Lucifer. It's so juicy! I'm so looking forward to doing something entirely different with Gwendoline's look. I don't want to spoil the surprises for people who haven't read 'Season of Mists', but that's where Dream's trouble really begins."

Adds Gaiman (via ET Online): "The Lucifer-Morpheus rematch is going to happen and it is going to be a stranger, darker, and much more disruptive Morpheus than anybody could possibly imagine who hasn't actually snuck out and read Season of Mists' in The Sandman comics." Color us excited.

Morpheus will be keeping a close eye on Lyta's baby. (Image credit: Netflix)

As for 'A Game of You', which is centered around Barbie, one of the Hal's B&B guests we met in season 1, Heinberg teased: "We've got a lot of characters who aren't even human, who are talking animals, who I'm looking forward to meeting. Lenny Henry is so good as Martin Tenbones, and I can't wait for the audience to meet [new characters like] Wanda, Foxglove, and Hazel."

There's plenty more, plot wise, to look forward to as well, including what becomes of Lyta's baby (who Morpheus will certainly be keeping an eye on), Lyta's comic book ties to iconic DC superhero Wonder Woman, Morpheus' problems with Desire, and the potential return of The Corinthian – providing Gaiman and company want to bring that aspect of the source material into season 2 – and Morpheus' promise to be a more benevolent ruler of the Dreaming, i.e. his domain. We'll see how all of these plot points (and many more!) shake out in The Sandman season 2.

The Sandman season 2 trailer: is there one?

Sitting around waiting for The Sandman season 2 trailer like... (Image credit: Netflix)

No. Given production only recently restarted, it's not realistic to expect we'd have a trailer for The Sandman season 2 yet. We'll update this section once one is released.

Will The Sandman get a third season on Netflix?

There's no word on whether a sequel to The Sandman season 2 will be greenlit, but two characters who – in canonical terms – make their debut in Gaiman's source material will make their live-action debut on Netflix: Dead Boy Detectives.

For the uninitiated: Dead Boy Detectives was initially created by Gaiman, and follows the adventures of Edwin Paine and Charles Rowland, who are murdered at various points during the 20th century but refuse to pass onto the afterlife. Instead, they stick around and investigate crimes concerning the undead and the supernatural.

The pair were first introduced in the 'Seasons Of Mist' storyline (The Sandman #25, to be precise) during a brief interlude from Morpheus' deliberations about the future of Hell. The duo are never seen in the graphic novels, but they would later go on to have their own comic book spin-off series, which was helmed by Ed Brubaker and Byran Talbot. 

A live-action TV show of Dead Boy Detectives was greenlit in late 2021, with Max (then known as HBO Max) set to be its streaming home. However, in February, the TV adaptation was confirmed for release on Netflix, aka the world's best streaming service, with a first trailer (see above) released in November as one of four underrated Netflix Geeked Week 2023 announcements.

Is a Johanna Constantine spin-off in the works? (Image credit: Netflix)

No launch date has been set yet, but we know if it'll tie into Netflix's wider Sandman universe. As revealed by Gaiman, this Sandman-adjacent content will see one of the Endless appear in Dead Boy Detectives (per The Sandman News X fan account), which should link it to the mainline series.

Dead Boy Detectives might only be the start of a more expansive live-action Sandman universe, too. Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Jenna Coleman teased the possibility of a Johanna Constantine spin-off project, which Gaiman and Heinberg are keen to pursue. We'll see if that's still in the works in the coming months.

As for how long the main show could run, Gaiman told Variety: "As long as the audience is there... we want to tell the whole story that went through to 'The Wake'. And after that we want to tell 'Sandman: Overture' and... we’d love to do things like 'The Dream Hunters' We quite probably weave the stories that are in 'Sandman: Endless Nights' into the body of the whole. 

"What is nice is we have the entirety of The Sandman to draw on. We also have the 'Death' books. It might be great to go off and do one of those as a sideline... we can keep going on this for a long time to come". We hope we speak for everyone when we say we hope you do, Neil.

For more Netflix TV-based coverage, read our guides on Stranger Things season 5, Arcane season 2, The Lincoln Lawyer season 3, and Wednesday season 2.

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