Neil Gaiman Admits He Sabotaged A ‘Sandman’ Movie In The 1990s By Secretly Leaking ‘The Worst Script That I’ve Ever Read’

Before his acclaimed comic book series landed a worthy live-action series at Netflix, author Neil Gaiman famously said, “I’d rather see no Sandman movie made than a bad Sandman movie.” According to a new interview, Gaiman wasn’t messing around. During one of several attempts to get The Sandman on the big screen during the ’90s, Gaiman took it upon himself to secretly leak “the worst script that I’ve ever read by anybody” to thwart infamous Warner Bros. producer Jon Peters.

Like every project he got his hands on, Peters wanted to cram a giant mechanical spider into the film on top of completely mangling the Lucifer, Morpheus, and the Corinthian. Worried that this mangled version of his creation might see the light of day, Gaiman anonymously sent the script to Ain’t It Cool News where it was eviscerated, stopping the project dead.

The author made the revelation during a sprawling interview with Rolling Stone where he recalled the phone call with “a guy in Jon Peters’ office” that set him on the path to sabotage:

“There was nothing in there I loved. There was nothing in there I liked. It was the worst script that I’ve ever read by anybody. It’s not just the worst Sandman script. That was the worst script I’ve ever been sent.” And then there was a pause. He says, “Oh, come on. That thing where we made the Corinthian the Sandman’s brother, that was good. Huh?” And I said, “No, that was really stupid.” And he said, “Oh, well, OK. You can’t win them all.” And I said, “No, you really can’t.” And I put down the phone and I thought, what do I do now?

So I sent the script to Ain’t It Cool News, which back then was read by people. And I thought, I wonder what Ain’t It Cool News will think of the script that they’re going to receive anonymously. And they wrote a fabulous article about how it was the worst script they’d ever been sent. And suddenly the prospect of that film happening went away.

However, Gaiman’s actions weren’t without consequences. With The Sandman dead in the water, Jon Peters turned his attention to Wild Wild West, which Will Smith regrettably chose to make instead of The Matrix. It’s haunted him ever since.

(Via Rolling Stone)