It turns out dreams do come true. The Sandman must have made a wish ahead of its 35th birthday yesterday (November 29), because filming has finally resumed on the hit Netflix show’s second season.

In a press release, Netflix confirmed that principal photography was up and running on The Sandman season 2 again after it was halted due to the Hollywood actors strike. The Sandman season 2 was announced in November 2022, with filming originally beginning on June 23. Now, after a five-month interruption because of that industrial action, work has restarted on the streamer’s live-action adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s iconic graphic novel series.

To commemorate the occasion, Netflix released the first behind-the-scenes image from season 2, which shows Tom Sturridge’s Dream looking down on Mason Alexander Park’s Desire.

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The Sandman season 2’s first major update since late June arrived on the same day that one of Gaiman’s most popular series celebrated its 35th birthday. Reflecting on his literary works, the world-renowned author penned an open letter to fans thanking them for their support since November 1988 – the month and year that The Sandman‘s first comic issue was released – and teasing what’s to come in the show’s sophomore outing.

“This week we officially restart production on the next sequence of stories of The Sandman for Netflix,” part of Gaiman’s statement read. “Genius show runner Allan Heinberg and the countless people in front of and behind the camera are building something endlessly special, and bringing these stories to life in a way that would once have been unimaginable.

“A journey is beginning that will take us from Destiny’s garden to Hell, from the Heart of the Dreaming to Ancient Greece and revolutionary France, and from there to places even I cannot quite imagine on the screen. I will be patient. Good things are coming.”

A dream scenario for an ongoing Netflix nightmare

Dream stands in his ruined castle in Netflix's The Sandman TV series

Netflix’s fantasy empire could crumble if it isn’t careful (Image credit: Netflix)

Netflix will be relieved that production has restarted on The Sandman season 2. In our review of The Sandman season 1, we called it a “remarkably authentic adaptation [that] is oh-so-nearly brilliant”. That might sound a tad harsh to some fans, especially considering that The Sandman also made its way onto our best Netflix shows list. And we agree – the popular fantasy show makes for a great watch, even if we had slight issues with some elements of its plot and character development.

Okay, so why should the world’s best streaming service be glad that The Sandman‘s second season is back in the filmmaking groove? Aside from the fact it’s an incredibly well-made show, it’s also one of the last bastions of top-tier fantasy genre projects currently in development for the streaming giant.

As you might know, Netflix recently cancelled Shadow and Bone after two seasons. The young-adult fantasy series was beloved by large swathes of Netflix’s userbase, so much so that its cancellation led to an outpouring of anger that resulted in Shadow and Bone fans embarking on a campaign to save it.

But Shadow and Bone isn’t the only fantasy series that’s struggling on Netflix. The Witcher, another flagship Netflix TV original, isn’t performing well, either, with The Witcher season 3 arguably the weakest entry in the hit series so far. Add in the cancellation of other fantasy-based productions including Warrior Nun, and Netflix needs a genre-specific show, such as The Sandman, to perform well and convince fantasy fans that there’s still top-tier content for them to enjoy on the platform.

If The Sandman season 2 is as good and popular, if not even better and more admired, than season 1, Netflix will be able to breathe a big sigh of relief; if it falls short, though, Netflix’s fantasy dream could quickly turn into a nightmare.

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