Morpheus glares at something off screen in Netflix's The Sandman.

‘The Sandman’ Set Photos Reveal Another New Character—and a Devastating Scene

Part 2 of Netflix’s The Sandman is now filming, and set photos are starting to reveal some story details and new characters. Recently, we got our first glimpse of Morpheus’s son Orpheus, the ill-fated musician from Greek myth. Now, a new batch of set photos reveal what might be the wrenching final scenes of Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman volume 5, A Game of You. Plus, new cast member Indya Moore (Pose) might be playing a beloved character.

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**This article contains major spoilers for volume 5 of The Sandman graphic novel series, A Game of You.**

In the graphic novel, Barbie, who makes her first appearance in The Doll’s House and is played by Lily Travers in The Sandman part 1 on Netflix, is summoned to a realm called the Land in order to fight an adversary known as the Cuckoo. When she returns, she finds that her friend and roommate Wanda, who was watching Barbie’s body while Barbie’s spirit traveled to the Land, has been killed.

If that isn’t awful enough, Wanda’s parents are transphobes who refuse to accept that Wanda is a trans woman. They put her deadname on her tombstone, so after Wanda’s funeral, Barbie takes a tube of lipstick and crosses the deadname out, replacing it with Wanda’s real name.

The new set photos show Morpheus (Tom Sturridge) and Death (Kirby Howell-Baptiste) standing in a cemetery, along with Indya Moore’s character. In the comics, Barbie has a tense moment with Wanda’s mother, and then dreams of Death and Wanda waving goodbye to her after the funeral, so the scene being filmed may be Wanda’s funeral scene. If that’s the case, it’s likely that Moore, who is trans and non-binary, is playing Wanda.

Some sharp-eyed fans identified the book that Morpheus is holding as a first edition of The Wizard of Oz. In the graphic novel, Barbie says that in her final dream, Wanda reminds her of the good witch Glinda.

In August, before the series was even renewed, Gaiman confirmed that Wanda would be in the cast. “Wanda is an absolutely integral part of The Sandman universe and A Game of You,” Gaiman told CBR.com. “And if we’re lucky enough to make Season 2, Wanda will be a huge, huge part … It’s going to be so much fun casting fabulous trans actors.”

On his Tumblr page, Gaiman explained why it was important to him to include a trans character in The Sandman, and addressed concerns that the story in A Game of You called Wanda’s identity into question.

Mostly, I found a lot of the stuff I was seeing in the late 80s from some feminist quarters really offensive, seeing them dismiss trans women as not real women, and decided that I wanted to put those attitudes into the story, which, from the title on, was about identity and how we create our own. So yes, there are god-like things in Sandman who do not see Wanda as a woman, just as Wanda’s family back in Kansas are not able not see her as a woman, but then, the narrative in Sandman is pretty clear that god-like things are just as likely to be screwed up, wrongheaded and mistaken as anyone else in the story. Wanda’s attitudes and responses to the Gods in the story are mine, although said much more pithily than I would have.

Gaiman also acknowledged that if he were to write A Game of You today, instead of the 1980s, the story would be different. It looks like we’ll get a chance to see that updated version of the story in The Sandman part 2.

(featured image: Netflix)


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Julia Glassman
Julia Glassman (she/her) holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and has been covering feminism and media since 2007. As a staff writer for The Mary Sue, Julia covers Marvel movies, folk horror, sci fi and fantasy, film and TV, comics, and all things witchy. Under the pen name Asa West, she's the author of the popular zine 'Five Principles of Green Witchcraft' (Gods & Radicals Press). You can check out more of her writing at <a href="https://juliaglassman.carrd.co/">https://juliaglassman.carrd.co/.</a>