Although production on Netflix’s upcoming adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s Sandman series is halted due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the prolific author affirmed his commitment to a diverse writers room, promising in an interview that trans writers will be brought in to work on the series.
In a conversation with fellow science-fiction writer N. K. Jemisin on YouTube, Gaiman spoke about the way his approach to writing about social issues has changed over the years, touching on the character of Wanda, a trans woman from the original Sandman graphic novels. “My biggest request to the Sandman showrunner for when we get to the season with ‘Game of You’ in it is that we have trans men and trans women in the writers’ room,” Gaiman said. “Not as consultants, but as writers.”
Sandman‘s “Game of You” storyline from 1993 featured a trans woman named Wanda whose parents refuse to accept her identity, and as a final insult bury her as a man after her death, stamping her deadname on the tombstone. “I had a lot of trans friends, and I was putting my friends into my comic,” the Good Omens author said.
When asked what he’d do differently these days compared to when the comic was originally published, Gaiman responded, “The biggest difference now is that I would have [trans people] write it. I wouldn’t be writing that. At the time, I looked around and didn’t see those writers.”
He concluded, “I’m so fascinated to see what a trans writers’ room, what stories they would tell with those characters.”
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Neil Gaiman, author of The Sandman comic series, talked about trans characters he has written and how he hopes they'll be handled in the TV show.