Moriarty takes a look at what Jon Peters has done with Neil Gaiman's SANDMAN property!!!
Hey folks, Harry here. Recently I was allowed a peek at the SANDMAN script that Moriarty is about to delve into. I got about 20 pages in and... well, I just couldn't stand any more than that. I'm not a reader of the SANDMAN series sadly. By the time I heard about it, well... it be like starting to read THE GREEN MILE with the fourth book, but worse. And I've just never had the cash on me when I saw the trade paperbacks, so... I'm deprived of one of the 'Great' comic stories. A great myth. Looking at the script... well I figured... maybe I just don't get it because I'm not familiar with the books, so I searched through my spy portfolios and found that Moriarty was quite a dreamwalker, so... I sent Morpheus and... well after some massive weight loss and strange archaic make-up effects, I became Gaiman... and I gave the dear Professor a mission.... Here is what he came up with...
Hey, Head Geek...
Recently I hatched a new idea in my never-ending quest for world domination. It occurred to me that the easiest way to subjugate a population is by taking control of their dreams. Once you rule those, reality should be simple, right? After all, look at how much power George Lucas has now that he’s gotten back into the active dreams of geeks worldwide.
To this end, I was working on a device that would allow me to both see and alter the dreams of any person I chose. Considering how new the technology was, I chose to work alone for fear of industrial espionage. Yes, it’s true, there are even spies here in the house of Moriarty. My work kept me here, alone, until the wee hours of the morning. It was just after 3:00 when I heard a sound -- no, that’s not true. It was more that I felt a sound, a rushing of wind, deep inside myself and all around me at the same time. I turned from what I was doing, and the laser welder slipped from my hand, clattering uselessly on the floor at my feet.
Standing before me were two figures. One I recognized immediately. Tall, with piercing black eyes and skin as pale as porcelain, wrapped in black, his spiked hair standing up in all directions. It could be no one else but Morpheus, Lord of the Dream Realm. As I attempted to make sense of this seemingly impossible sight, I looked at his companion. Thin, with dark hair and a mischievious twinkle in his eyes, also dressed in black, this face didn’t seem familiar. He had a script clutched in his hands, and it was he who stepped forward first.
“I’m Neil Gaiman. I assume you know my friend.” And suddenly it made sense. Who else would Morpheus be traveling with than his official biographer, the only man with the skill to accurately record the deeds and feats of the Eternals?
“Well,” I stammered, “it’s nice to meet you.”
He held the script out to me, and I took it, glancing down at the Jon Peters Co. vanity logo on the front. “I need you to do something for me, Moriarty.”
“I need you to read this script and tell the world about it.”
“But... but why?”
Morpheus suddenly surged forward, and all I could see were his eyes, pools of endless black, and a chill ran through me. “You will do this thing, Moriarty, because it pleases me. You will do this because this script displeases me. Mainly, you will do it so that we do not meet in your dreams tonight. Understood?”
I think I managed to say yes. I know some sort of squeaky little sound must have escaped me because Morpheus nodded. Just like that, he was behind Neil again, silent, staring at me from the shadows.
“Sorry about that,” Neil said. “He’s a little edgy. We tried laying some bad mojo on Jon Peters in his dreams, but what kind of nightmares are you going to lay on a guy who thinks a gay R2D2 is a good idea?” He shook his head sadly. “The mind reels.”
Before I had a chance to say anything else, there was that same sound, more felt than heard, and Gaiman and Dream were gone. The only proof that their visit had been more than a passing fancy of mine was the script that I still held. Setting aside all thoughts of global havoc, I ran up to my study, settled into my most comfortable reading chair, and opened the script to the title page.
Hmmm... no sign of Roger Avery or Elliott and Rossio. This must be the newest draft that I’ve been hearing rumbles about. This second draft is credited to William Farmer, and is dated July of ‘98. Practically still warm.
To be honest, I’m scared to continue. Y’see, Neil Gaiman’s a genius. Being one myself, I don’t throw the word around lightly. Ask anyone who’s read all 75 issues of THE SANDMAN and they’ll tell you the same thing. This guy has won more major fiction awards than any other comics writer, and there’s a reason. He’s more than just a writer or even just a storyteller. He’s a weaver of modern mythology, and he’s one of the most intelligent, consistenly inventive authors of fantasy ever. Aside from JRR Tolkien and George Lucas (and, yes, he’s a fantasy author, not a SF one), there’s very few people who have ever created such a textured, powerful, persuasive fictional world. For those of you who have never encountered Gaiman’s work, get up, turn your computer off, and RUN to the comics store nearest you. You can pick up all 10 of the SANDMAN collections and catch up.
Go ahead. I’ll wait.
Okay, now, you see what I mean? The story of Morpheus, Lord of The Dreaming, one of the Eternals, is tragic, funny, horrifying, thrilling, moving, and utterly transcendent. The characters you’re introduced to are unforgettable and the stories we’re told (hundreds and hundreds of them, it seems) are riveting, each and every one. You could reread these books over and over, and each time you’d take something new away. They’re that rich. They’re that great.
If you still don’t believe me, just check out the introductions to the books by authors like Samuel R. Delany, Harlan Ellison, Mikal Gilmore, and Clive Barker, all of whom argue Gaiman’s case far more effectively than I do.
The reason I’m telling you all this is so that you understand that, yes, it’s true, I’m biased. I happen to think that any sane person could read these books and come up with at least one self-contained story that could be effectively told to fill a movie. You don’t have to start at the beginning necessarily, as long as the movie makes sense on its own.
All you really need to do is use the wonderful characters Gaiman created, the Eternals. Brothers and sisters, the Eternals are Death, Desire, Dream, Delirium, Despair, and Destiny. Well, that’s almost all of them, but you’ll have to read the books to know what that means. I’m not here to ruin those for you. With characters like that, you’re free to examine any story in the human experience, because it will likely intersect at least one of the siblings, if not more. Gaiman’s series, of course, follows Dream as its main character.
If one was looking for a simple story to tell that would effectively set up any future Sandman stories, the surest bet would be the material covered in the first two collections -- PRELUDES AND NOCTURNES and THE DOLL’S HOUSE -- with some judicious adapting bringing the whole story arc in under 2 1/2 hours. The first issue of the series concerns Dream being captured by a human being, a sort of Alastair Crowley wannabe who strips Dream of the three symbols of his office -- a ruby, a bag of sand, and his helmet. Each of these items contains some portion of Dream’s essence. When he finally frees himself after 100 years, he goes to reclaim the three items, each of which has fallen into wildly different hands.
The helmet was passed several times until finally ending up in the hands of a Demon in Hell itself. Dream goes there, powerless, and confronts the Demon, winning his helmet back in a clever battle of wits. The bag of sand has landed with a junkie girl who’s spent decades locked in a room, sniffing the sand like a drug, wrapped in a smothering womb of physical dreams. Finally, he finds his ruby has become the prize possession of a pathetic freak resident of none other than Arkham Asylum. Yes, that’s right -- Arkham Asylum. This is, after all, the DC Universe.
Once Dream has reclaimed his icons, he returns to The Dreaming, his home, his realm, only to find it atrophied and dying. Several of his major dream creatures have escaped, leading to another major arc as Dream hunts them down. At the same time, he becomes aware of a girl named Rose Walker who is a physical juncture for The Dreaming. The only way to prevent her from opening a rift in the dream kingdom is to kill her, something Dream does not want to do. One of the most terrifying of Gaiman’s creations is a creature that Dream has to hunt down called The Corinthian. Created as the ultimate nightmare, terror given physical form, The Corinthian is a serial killer with vicious razor-sharp teeth where his eyes should be. Along with several other dreams, he is hunted down and retrieved by Morpheus. There’s no real fights here because there’s no way for these creatures to resist. They don’t just belong to Dream... he made them, and he can simply unmake them if he chooses.
One of the things that makes this entire story arc so amazing is the way it deftly avoids all the conventions of “comic books.” There are no superhero antics, no 15 page fights to the death, and the resolutions of these stories aren’t conventional or expected in the least. I wish to god I could say the same for William Farmer’s script...
... but I can’t. Now, I don’t know Mr. Farmer, and I don’t know his other work, but I do know that he is unqualified to take even one more shot at this script. Remove him from the project, pay him off for any other contracted drafts, then burn this fucking rag before any real damage is done to the property.
Mistake number one: the whole thing is tied to the Millenium. That’s rapidly becoming one of the most heinous, preposterous cliches in film. Stop it. By the time you get this thing finished and in theaters, even if you started right now, the year 1999 will essentially be over. And if there’s a bump in the road (like, say, a script I wouldn’t wipe myself with), then the whole Millenium storyline will be dated, passe. The best quality of Gaiman’s work is its timelessness. Don’t make the mistake of grafting some momentary gimmick onto what’s already so good.
Mistake number two: did you actually read any issues of the book, Mr. Farmer, or were you doing the evil, semi-retarded bidding of Jon Peters himself? And if the answer is the latter, then tell me, does Mr. Peters in fact have horns and cloven hooves? The soft skull’s a given, but I’m trying to figure out if he has any real malice in his heart. After all, he’s currently working overtime to destroy one of America’s finest icons, Superman, and now he’s actively mauling one of the few examples of true graphic literature. This is one of those cases where changes are made for the sake of making changes, as a matter of ego, and not for any sort of sound dramatic reasons.
Which, I suppose, brings us to the storyline of this film. Normally I’m hesitant to spoil scripts that aren’t even yet in actual production, but the only way I can convey the wrongheadedness of the approach these people have taken is by discussing specifics. Sorry, Warners. Sorry, Jon “I Don’t Get It” Peters. Sorry, Mr. Farmer. I am but a humble servant to the Lord of Sleep. I do only what he asks.
Rose Kendall is the daughter of wealthy industrialist and all around Really Famous Wacko Harlan Kendall. When she was very young, her father used her in some nutty experiment in which he killed her, opened the Dream Gate, captured Dream, then brought her back to life. In doing so, he also managed to take the ruby, the bag of sand, and the helmet. So far -- well, it’s at least vaguely recognizable. The Kendalls are new, but at least we’ve got Morpheus imprisoned and the icons of his office being scattered.
Rose is afflicted with lifelong nightmares in which the man from her dreams asks to be released. Finally, just a few days before the Millenium, Rose is attacked by someone yelling about the Nightmare Man. She’s taken to a hospital where she has an encounter with someone vaguely like Gaiman’s Death (although with far more “zany” wisecracks) and an “Angel” appears, coming through from another world when Rose dies briefly on the table. Nice how she keeps doing that, eh? He takes away her nightmares and disappears.
Back at the building her father built, there’s some sort of construction going on and the secret magic chamber where Kendall stuck Morpheus is found and blown up, releasing Morpheus. And here’s where things really go wrong, since the character that is released is a fairly indiscriminate killer with no real power of any kind. He beats some people up, jumps off something, gets hurt, and gets taken to the hospital. Morpheus. Lord of Dreams. Gets taken to a hospital after yelling tripe like, “As though your puny weapons could harm Morpheus! The lord of sleep! The Sandman!”
Well, of course the hospital that Morpheus is brought to just happens to be the same one Rose is in, and suddenly we’re in lame T2 ripoff country, with Morpheus going to look for Rose, and the Angel appearing again to save her. The twist here is that Morpheus is trying to kill Rose to save the world, while the Angel is actually the Corinthian, Morpheus’ brother, who has bet Lucifer, Morpheus’ other brother, that he can find the icons of Dream’s office first. Whoever gets them before the year 2000 wins. If neither does, then Lucifer takes over the earth for torture, misery, sorrow, yadda, yadda, yadda.
Really. That’s really the story. And the rest of the film’s just a dumb action film with these two fighting over and over, and with them beating up people to get the various items. The ruby’s in a safe in a pawn shop. The sand’s in the study of Rose’s house. And The Helmet? Well... giggle, giggle... dare I say it? It’s hidden inside Rose!
Did I miss something?
WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON HERE? Where did any of this crap come from? The Corinthian is Morpheus’ brother? Why? Lucifer is his other brother? How does this even begin to make any kind of sense? Farmer can’t even get the most basic motif of the books right. Scroll back up and check out the names of The Eternals. Notice a pattern involving the letter “D”? Well, Farmer evidently didn’t, since he’s changed the name of one of Dream’s sisters to “Love” when she shows up finally.
At the end, everything that happens in the book is just wiped away with that old familiar movie cop-out, “It was all just a dream.” Ugh. Gaiman never, never cheated us like that. Even if something happened in a dream, it mattered. It counted. That’s the whole point. Our dream lives and our waking lives are one and the same. One affects the other. Gaiman made the point over and over, and Farmer has ignored it utterly.
The script is devoid of imagination. Farmer has created a “Nightmare plague” that’s loosely based on a section of PRELUDES & NOCTURNES (the exceptional and unforgettable “24 Hours”), and it’s nothing but a bunch of pointless atrocities without moral heft or payoff. He misses everything that makes the original work so unique, so special, so brilliant.
I’m not going to rant like Mighty Joe Hallenbeck here, because it’s just not my style, but if I’ve ever wished for a ball bat and a drive-on at the studio, it’s this time. It’s really remarkable to me that Warner Bros. continues to throw such high-profile, potentially profitable franchises at Jon Peters, a con artist and hack of the highest degree. The man hasn’t had an original idea (or a hit) in a decade. He is poison. I can’t say this in strong enough terms. Take this project away from him. Eat whatever costs have already gone into development. Wait for Brad Bird and his team to finish IRON GIANT, then give them this property. Have Gaiman write the script for the animated film. He’s practicing right now with the American translation script for PRINCESS MONONOKE. Do the film right, and you will be rewarded.
Do it wrong, though, and I guarantee that Bob and Terry are going to be visited nightly by that same foreboding figure I was. And when he comes to see you, boys, maybe he’ll bring the real Corinthian by. Maybe he’ll just strip away the dreams in which you delude yourself into thinking that your studio is still doing fine. Maybe he’ll shine some light into those dark corners you’re so afraid of, and you’ll have to confront that creative bankruptcy that’s got you all so afraid over there. And maybe you’ll learn from it, and you’ll do something risky, or even something great. There’s still hope. You own some wonderful material. Respect it. Nurture it.
Of course, who am I, right? All I know is that tonight, when I’ve shut off the last light in the Moriarty labs, and I head upstairs to my bed, I’ll lay down and fall into the sleep of the just. And if I should meet Morpheus there, I have nothing to fear. I welcome the opportunity. Maybe one day, we’ll all have the opportunity. That’s the dream I treasure most.
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Nov. 29, 1998, 10:56 p.m. CST
by Squid Eyeball
I don't think that that interpretation of the script is fair to us as fans of the Sandman, or as intelligent moviegoers. I think that bad things should happen to Mr. Farmer, and that this script might necessitate the construction of a Red Slave-Shield over WB studios, and the destruction of the Western Seabord in order to insure that this vision of the movie never comes to pass.
Nov. 29, 1998, 11:19 p.m. CST
I'm not much of a comics fan, I've enjoyed Shi and Demon Gun (of which I only heard of because a friend worked on them), plus Watchmen and Batman, but little else, and even I can sense the frustration our friend, the Professor himself is feeling. In their earnest attempts to boil down any known property into it's lowest-common-denominator elements, Hollywood has time and again ruined a potentially great franchise for millions of fans and turned off new potential devotees as well. It's too common a story, but what continues to surprise me is how Jon Peters, who tapped into the vein of the Industry by styling Barbra Streisand's hair in the seventies, can still find work in the whole of Los Angeles County or even any country where news of his past debacles have been translated into the national tongue. This talentless, dumb-as-dirt putz has been, is and will continue to be the wonder of the town, consistently managing to muck up the few projects he gets to the screen, and when he's finally lost enough money for his employer, landing in another pile of money with the aid of his latest golden parachute. Who does Jon Peters have naked, engaged-in-bestial-sex Polaroids of? How does he do it, when there are doubtless thousands of more talented folk struggling to get by? When will justice strike him down with the force of a lightning bolt? When will the rest of the Industry wise up and not allow Peters to graft his name onto an unsinkable success and start the cycle all over again? Read "Hit and Run" to find out just how much of a moron Peters is. Is Warner Bros. determined to continue their downward slide? I hope not. At the very least, they should just allow Peters rights to Sandman to expire and give it to someone else. The world will do fine without another Jon Peters production.
Nov. 30, 1998, 12:02 a.m. CST
The synopsis of Farmer's script sounds dreadful! (I think it would sound dreadful even for a non-Sandman fan, but for someone who knows the work...ugh.) If you're interested in reading a previous (and more faithful) script for Sandman, you can find one by Terry Rossio and Ted Elliott on the Wordplay site <http://www.wordplayer.com/archives/SANDMAN.intro.html> or Roger Avary's version at <http://www.avary.com/rogeravary/journal/10-25-98.html>. Jon Peters must be stopped.
Nov. 30, 1998, 12:14 a.m. CST
by TOMMY TERROR
Le reve de Morphee n'est pas pour le petit bataises. Je pense que tout le monde le sais, mais peut-etre non. Si personne ne reve pas, personne n'habite pas le corps du Dieu, n'est-ce pas? Et j-aime le petit R2-D2 beaucoup - comme ca! Ciao Bella!
Nov. 30, 1998, 12:36 a.m. CST
by Joe Tate
My God!!! The Sandman was one of the best stories in any medium. And now it will be ruined for the whole world! For years and still now people think of the 60's TV series when they hear Batman. I DO NOT wish this on one of the most intellectual fantasy stories to come out of this decade. If anyone know how we can start a campain of some sort to stop this, please email me. Nightwing007
Nov. 30, 1998, 12:51 a.m. CST
by Robert K S
Here's what Ted and Terry have to say about masters Gaiman and Peters: NEIL GAIMAN: Neil Gaiman is one of those men every man would like to be. Darkly handsome, successful, talented. We were working on a possible pitch to DreamWorks, and he spoke in terms of searching for suitable 'plot engines.' His idea was that plots need to do their work, they should be solid and effective -- but it's often the way the story that is told that is much more important. (In television terms, his 'engine' would be called the 'franchise' -- the reason why the character continues to get involved in stories.) Still, he made an important distinction between 'plot' (what happens) and 'story' (the way you tell the audience what happens). Neil also talked about the idea of 'plot coupons,' which can be redeemed throughout the film; a series of small yet necessary steps the hero must take to keep the story moving forward. One other thing about Neil. When the concept we were working on shifted away from how he thought it could best work -- which was as a comic book or television series -- his integrity radar went off, and he told us he didn't want to continue. We were disappointed, but I was impressed -- the lure of a movie deal held no fascination for him at all: his total focus was on what was best for the idea. JON PETERS: At the opposite end of the scale [from Gaiman] is Jon Peters. He's the exception we mentioned earlier. Ted and I rarely speak ill of anyone... but... how this man continues to find work in this business escapes me. Working on Neil Gaiman's SANDMAN project, we started our pitch with the following: "So Burgess casts a spell, trying to capture the personification of DEATH -- but instead, gets the personification of DREAM (the Sandman) instead!" Peters didn't get it -- how could Death be a person? -- and we spent almost half an hour on just that sentence. The next half hour was spent with him telling us the opening seance should be people playing with a Ouija board. It was, as they say in the business, simply a dick-measuring contest. And it turns out, yes, Peters was the biggest dick.
Nov. 30, 1998, 12:58 a.m. CST
Wow. Now THAT is a clueless treatment. Is the author's name by any chance a pseudonym? What is it with Warner Brothers? They've got their hands on the rights to all those great comic characters, and Babylon Five to boot, and yet sometimes it seems like they're run by a particularly thick-headed four-year-old. Did someone make a deal with Satan or something? Let's all cross our fingers and pray for a bloody putsch, in which the Warner upper management, the infamous Mr. Peters, and his so-called "Sandman" thing all get tossed out into the street and run over by tour buses. Then the property can be put on ice for twenty years, awaiting the arrival of a studio head with an actual clue. (OK, so maybe it'll take 50 years. I'll wait.)
Nov. 30, 1998, 1:50 a.m. CST
I agree with all of your gripes, but wishing bloody death on Jon Peters will not stop him. I must be blunt. Up to this point, you have only spoken of what *should* be done, and saying it from a pissed-off fan's perspective. All of that is well and good, but it doesn't solve the problem. As long as there is nothing to compete, Jon Peters will continue to hold Warner and its potentially wonderful franchises by the proverbial balls. The only way to stop him is to beat him at his own game. This requires a new initiative. I'll bet that everybody here can claim to write a better script than Mr. Farmer (hell, a trained monkey could write a better script). So, why not do it? Put your Gaiman-inspired imagination to work. Write up your own script. Make people take notice of it. People like Peters are in power only because the true fans like us don't take the right initiative to overthrow him. Are we too weak-willed, or are we so intimidated by the greatness that is Sandman to even attempt our own adaptation? This is what we must do if we wish to see justice done. Make the studios take notice of the talent, devotion, and initiative of the fans. It may sound crazy, impossible, and downright absurd, but then so were a lot of the great minds of this world. Sandman was criticized for just that reason when it first came out. Don't be afraid to take the crazy path, and don't be afraid to pay the price! In one generation's time, we could take over the industry itself! We can do justice to all that which has been met with wrongdoing--and not only those by the hand of Der Fuerher, Herr Peters. Can Moriarty truly sleep the sleep of the just simply by posting up what is essentially nothing more than a well-worded rant? The road to justice is not an easy one, but it is one that must be taken together. Band together, you devoted fans, and demand the true justice that Sandman and other DC franchises so rightly deserve! Here endeth the rant, and with a few words of what is hoped to be wisdom, a new age thus grow forth!
Nov. 30, 1998, 2:03 a.m. CST
visit my website at http://www.geocities.com/Hollywood/Picture/3059/. Shameless endorsement, I know, but ok, Warner Brothers suck. Jon Peters sucks, but the studio seems to have been run by idiots for quite some time. Example? They actually wanted to make a sequel of CASABLANCA (yes, I know about the new book). That's about as stupid as filming a remake of PYSCHO, now we all know NO ONE is stupid enough to do that right? RIGHT??
Nov. 30, 1998, 4:27 a.m. CST
Is it just me or would Sandman be the perfect Tim Burton project? Maybe make it a film of Death:The High Cost of Living?
Nov. 30, 1998, 6:52 a.m. CST
Nov. 30, 1998, 8:06 a.m. CST
This is just another example of too long reviews. I scolled down pages of the writer's explanations and fantasy to find out the meat of the article. Please..anyone who reads news about the Sandman movie had probably read the comic, so cut that out. Then the cutesy Sandman-esque bit about meeting Neil Gaiman. Sheesh! Anyhow, the script sounds just awful. I do agree with the writer there. Neil Gaiman has written a perfect story that needs simply to be filmed. It does not need to be "dumbed-down" or made more exciting (i.e. explosive). Jon Peters will get his someday, I am sure. Be it in this life or the next. And regarding a gay R2-D2, I always assumed R2-D2 and C-3PO were gay. Or at least C-3PO...
Nov. 30, 1998, 9:10 a.m. CST
But from some of the other posts it sounds like Peters HAD a good script and set out to ruin it. These guys kill me! They can't leave anything alone, like insisting on polar bears at the South Pole and crap like that. I mean, the script described doesn't even make sense, regardless of how it mangles the original story. I mean, what's the deal with the bet? If the Corinthian bets Lucifer, why are they betting the stuff that belongs to Dream? Yeah, they're evil, but if they want to steal his icons why bother with a bet? "Hey, Dave, I bet I can steal Bob's car. If I can't, it belongs to you." Huh? Of course, I'm giving this piece of trash WAY too much thought. If ANYONE working at WB sees this, I beg you to do the right thing. This man must be stopped.
Nov. 30, 1998, 10:34 a.m. CST
by Joel Mathis
Well, thanks to the link that someone kindly provided, I read the "better" version of the script that is out there. It's far from perfect suffering from a fanish tendancy to try and cram as much as possible into the script, the middle of the plot really drags, it's too episodic in nature (but what big film these days isn't), would cost way too much to produce, and there are some glaring plot holes and script errors, but its about 80% of a good script. I personally think with a few more revisions those boys could make the ideal movie script for The Sandman. If you haven't read the script, pop over to http://www.wordplayer.com/archives/SANDMAN.intro.html and read it now since I'm about to go into some of the pro's and con's of it. The first (approximately) fifteen minutes are perfect, exactly what is needed to set up the story. The alteration of the role of the Corinthean to make him fit into the initial plot line is smooth and comes across much better than you would think by someone just telling you. I really liked about half of what was done with Rose Walker, especially at the end since it really threw me for a loop. On the other hand, the movie does not flow well at all. It jumps from one point to the other haphazardly trying to cover as much ground as possible. Much of the movie won't make sense unless you're a fan of the comic book. The other endless with the exception of Death are just thrown in for no good reason, and muddy the film greatly. The hell sequences need to be completely rethought to make them filmable and have them fit more smoothly into the picture. Basically, this script could be with some work turned into a good Sandman movie. As it stands, if it was filmed and put on the screen tomorrow, it would be a bad movie that would only be popular with fans of the comic book, though it would be ten thousand times the movie that is being described. WB should pay to have this script cleaned up and turned into a Sandman movie that has better appeal.
Nov. 30, 1998, 10:55 a.m. CST
A Sandman movie should never be made, in any form, by anyone, ever. Too deep, too many layers, characters, literary devices and creativity. Let it stay a wonderful comic book series and let Dream live in our imaginations in whatever form he takes on.
Nov. 30, 1998, 11:25 a.m. CST
although I've never read the Sandman series I've heard just wonderful things about it...Peters should be nowhere near this project and this script should be destroyed, burned given to colleges to teach how NOT to right an adaption...and finally in defense of Peters(gah I can't belive I said that)He has done some good work...his extra bit in Demille's 10 Commandments if excellent ;)...and he has produced some allright movies including Rain Man and Batman(thank to IMDB for the info)
Nov. 30, 1998, 11:25 a.m. CST
I love articles about Metallica. Keep up the good work, dude!!! You rock on!!!
Nov. 30, 1998, 11:28 a.m. CST
If it's not broken--don't fix it. Warner Bros. best product is Babylon 5 and they refuse to release that series on letterbox DVD. Do you expect them to appreciate something as literary as Gaiman's Sandman? Warner Bros: you will alienate any potential audience if you cheapen this literary work. Gaiman is an excellent scriptwrite. Give him the project and let him choose the director. If you do that, you will have a work of art on your hands that will live on in movie history for years to come. If you don't realize that, then why are you even in the movie business?
Nov. 30, 1998, 11:33 a.m. CST
I hope the Sweeper of Dreams abandons anyone who has anything to do with butchering Neil Gaiman's work...
Nov. 30, 1998, 12:03 p.m. CST
How come that wasn't a choice on today's poll, Harry? That would be the real winner...As God as my witness, I would rather NEVER SEE another Superman or Batman, or a film version of Sandman with Peters at the helm. We must fight the power. Someone start a writing campaign...you'd get thousands of signatures, and then at least Hollywood may recognize how fans feel about this HACK!!! Good luck dethroning him, because Wild Wild West will make dough, with the great god Will Smith on board. They'll just keep feeding this guy projects to f@#$ up well past the Millenium. How anyone could read this godawful treatment and ok it is beyond me. Poor Gaiman must be pissing himself right now...Peters will destroy his beautiful creation. Oh, the tragedy, the HORROR!!! GO AWAY YOU HACK! I THOUGHT IT WAS IMPOSSIBLE FOR ME TO HATE ANYONE MORE THAN SCHUMACHER AND AKIVA, BUT YOU HAVE TOPPED IT YOU SORRY SOB!!! GO AWAY!!! GO AWAY!!!
Nov. 30, 1998, 1:02 p.m. CST
Jon Peters needs to get pulled out into a street and shot. The man is nothing but stupidity. Any project he touches (especially if it is a comic book property) is raped of all it's integrity. He needs to be blacklisted.
Nov. 30, 1998, 1:22 p.m. CST
I am a brazilian Sandman fan , and because I do not speak english regularly , I do not know enough english words to express how upset I am about all this mess . I hope this "project" (if I can use this term for such a crap)just falls apart ,and stay forever in Development Hell,where it belongs. If not , I know what to do about it : I will not watch this movie , and if depends on me , no friend of mine will . If Warner Bros. wants to destroy my favorite comic book , at least I will not help them !
Nov. 30, 1998, 1:45 p.m. CST
I am ashamed to say that I have never read any Sandman stories. However, I know enough about the story to tell that it is very good and it will be tarnished by anyone who films it besides Mr. Gaiman. The bullshit script summed up by Moriarty should be spat upon by everyone who cares about decent storytelling. Furthermore, I propose, that everyone horrified by the growing stupidity of Warner Bros., buy a bat and charge the studio, and pound the place until it is rubble. Maybe then they will take the hint. A word of advice to WB, if you can't do it right, don't do it!
Nov. 30, 1998, 3:16 p.m. CST
Hey guy's someone is selling a Star Wars episode one banner over at ebay. Perfect condition. Priced actually pretty low right now. Check it out here. http://cgi.ebay.com/aw-cgi/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=45845233 it's about the only place i've seen offering them.
Nov. 30, 1998, 4:06 p.m. CST
by Sony Junkie
Just a test to see if this worked. The Junkie
Nov. 30, 1998, 4:10 p.m. CST
okay, all the 'Jon Peters needs to be shot' comments are a little misanthropic, but hey, a gay R2D2? So I can't help but agree - but in a slightly more constructive way. Here's an idea for a screenplay, just came to me as I was reading this unfortunate news (just as long as Peters never even hears of Preacher, I'm happy - hey, instead of an Irish vampire, let's make Cassidy a transsexual dwarf from Bangkok!) One of you jokers with such hatred in your heart should write it. Okay, here's the pitch: Two comic-loving film geeks (or what have you), frustrated with Hollywood's continued distortion and mangling of their favorite comics, series and characters, decide to take matters into their own hands. When a famously clueless and insipid producer gets the rights to their most treasured series, they know they must defend its honor at any cost. So they head out to Hollywood to assassinate him, thus ensuring its safe delivery into the hands of someone more appropriate. Okay so it's not a "It's about a ____ who wants to _____" pitch, film school is over, but hey, I could see it. Kind of an Airheads meets Swimming with Sharks kinda deal. It's up for grabs, I've got plenty of stuff on all four of my burners.
Nov. 30, 1998, 4:12 p.m. CST
by Chrome Kitten
I don't know if I want to cry or vomit. The new Sandman script sounds like such a piece of doodoo. It makes me want to smash things. I read the earlier scripts and while I found them more true, I still thought they sucked. I considered writing a script of my own, so I reread the series again. I have come to this conclusion. I am a dreaded Sandman purist. It is the perfect blending of tale and MEDIUM. It is so amazing. It might be my favourite piece of modern literature. It is too mutilayered to make into a movie. I love the way it creates a new mythology by blending all sorts of past and present religions and icons. It is brilliant. It is about fate and responsibility and the consequence of action. I think that making it into a movie would comprise the brilliance of what it is, because the delicate details would be lost. Of course this have never stopped Hollywood before. I have to cry some bitter tears at the bastardization of the tale. Gaiman's Sandman is clever and thought provoking. It is a joy to read and reread. If a movie must be made, then it should be a series of movies. There are several free standing stories within the framework. I thought they would make a movie of Season of Mists.... (I couldn't even imagine that hodgepodge of stuff that the first scripts were made of) ick. Of course we would still lose the beauty of Ramadan and other amazing one shots. Anyways, that's my two cents. Thanks for listening. -Teresa p.s. Harry, you should read it. I will lend you my copies if you are interested.
Nov. 30, 1998, 4:47 p.m. CST
y y y y y y y y y!!!! y did those sorry fucking waste of good oxygen waterhead son of a bitches have to do that!! for the last 2 years or so i have been DREAMING of someone making a quality movie based on a comic, and of course Sandman was on top of my list but now .. by letting this talentless waste of life create this horrible script filled with complete misunderstanding of the subject this single man, Peters, has not only told the world what a complete moron he is but what is more importand he will kill neil gaimans carrier as a movie script writter as well as a novelist and a genious and mortaly wounded the comic industry it self. because gaiman is one of few great writers within the comic world and his work would have been remembered and his work has gone a long way making people realise that the art of words and pictures is'nt all about spandex wearing testosteron mountains jumping of buildings and beating up bad guys. because there ARE serious artists there that are doing ten times better work than those hollywood assholes. But when this movie is released then that's the first thing people will think of when they think of NEIL GAIMAN and therefore he will not get his well deserved attension and the comic industry will have lost a brilliant soldier fighting for comics being taken seriously by the same assholes that ruined his big break!! you have to excuse the language and misspelling but i am furious and I WANT JON PETERS DEAD
Nov. 30, 1998, 5:40 p.m. CST
THIS ENTITY FINDS THE SUBJECT MATTER WORTHY OF COGNITIVE EFFORT. But I want to know about Alan Moore's "The Watchmen"? JUST LIKE SANDMAN, THE WATCHMEN MAY BE IMPOSSIBLE TO FILM DUE TO HOW GREAT THE COMIC IS. Terry Gilliam was doing scripts with ideas like casting Burt Reynolds as the Comedian and ARNOLD as Dr. Manhattan. BUT THAT WAS YEARS AGO!! What is the status of this property? Is it just slipping thru someone's fingers, just like Spider-Man is being tramples while a certain titanic director wastes his efforts on a remake about a bunch of damned humaniod apes? DO YOU KNOW? Is the answer hidden here somewhere amidst the requests for birhday presents? Hmmm? I MUST ENLARGE MYSELF TO MY FULL GENIE HEIGHT, SO I MAY APPEAR AS ANGRY AND MENACING AS MY POSTS IN THE FACULTY SCREENING AND LUCAS POSTER HOOPLA SECTIONS. It is no use, I cannot sustain this mix of apathy and interest. All I can do is ask: WHAT ABOUT DAVE SIM'S "CEREBUS"?
Nov. 30, 1998, 7:08 p.m. CST
by The Kid
GAY R2D2???? WHO THE FUCK IS THIS DUMB FUCKER?!
Nov. 30, 1998, 7:16 p.m. CST
by Kevin Smith
My first reactions upon reading the article were anger and frustration. "Why do they do this?" "Why can't they take somebody who knows the characters and let THEM write the screenplay?", etc., etc. However, if I started ranting and raving about it, then I would sound like every other opinion you see in the letters on this page. Why don't these people realize that the stories about the Dreaming are TOO intricate to squeeze into 2 hours of celluloid? And they sure as Hell would require a s**tload of special effects to even TRY and match the beauty of the Dreaming. Why not simply make it animated and have it put out weekly or monthly on a cable channel (like Spawn)? Then they would have the time to delve into intricate storylines and they could do all kinds of effects with computers. Also, one final question: Did the guy who wrote this article even read Sandman?! I think he fell asleep reading some old Jack Kirby comics! These seven immortal characters are The Endless, you jackass! NOT The Eternals!..sheesh.....
Nov. 30, 1998, 8:10 p.m. CST
O.K., I can understand the Hollywood people wanting to do some tinkering with Supes... I mean, the comic isn't exactly selling bucket-loads, but if it ain't broke don't fix it! How many awards has Sandman won? 18 gazillion last time I checked. Why oh why then would anyone in their right mind want to severely change the story in the ways discussed? The common sense thing seems to me to be to adapt the already successful story as closely as possible, thus ensuring a successful film.... I had some inkling that this was going to happen many moons ago when Gaiman was down here (Tasmania, Australia.) Someone asked him what he knew about the rumoured Sandman film and what his involvement was. With a sad look on his face Gaiman said his involvement was zero and all he knew was that the last scene apparently had Morpheus in a huge punch up with some other bad-ass. Cue the collective groan from the audience.... And on that note, cue the collective groan from the audience.
Nov. 30, 1998, 8:57 p.m. CST
I'm not going to bother to talk about how much this adaption would suck, since I think that has already been aptly pointed out. I never really thought Sandman could translate well into a movie anyway. I'm just here to point out that the reason why Neil is not writing the movie script is because he is of the same mind. He doesn't think it would work as a movie, so he won't be involved in it in any way. Now a television series might be able to pull it off....maybe.
Nov. 30, 1998, 9:06 p.m. CST
OK, I'm one of those long-time Sandman fanatics. I was never much interested in talk about the supposed Sandman movie because I knew that their chances of getting it right were pretty much nonexistent. But, my God, I never realized how BADLY they could get it wrong! They must be doing this on purpose; noone could be that idiotic by accident. WB can go ahead and waste a gazillion dollars on this misbegotten project and wonder afterwards why nobody bothered to see it, or they can read all of this commentary (if the studios had any sense they'd be reading this site everyday) take it to heart, and at least try to do an at least mediocre job of this.
Nov. 30, 1998, 10:37 p.m. CST
UGH! I can't stop thinking that thought, after reading the horrible news from our friend Moriarty. When will Warners learn to tell Jon Peters to go get a real job-something he has the talent for-like, say, guidance counselor at a high school. That way, he could keep on coming up with stupid ideas-but nobody would actually LISTEN to him. And, as for that "gay R2-D2" crack, that kind of thing is not too farr off the mark from the horrible changes he wanted to make for Kevin Smith's assuredly superior script for Superman. Warner's, if you're reading this: FIRE JON PETERS! DO IT NOW-and help to decrease the surplus Hollywood moron population!
Nov. 30, 1998, 10:58 p.m. CST
If you have even seen the MAXX that was televised on MTV awhile back. This should be the format for SANDMAN. Keep it animated and in segments. It cannot be fit into a standard movie. TOO much food for thought,it needs to be a process where the viewer is drawn in over time. This is what the SANDMAN does. It draws you into it's realm and you get to know the characters that share space within. It needs to be animated using the same artists, writers and talent used to create the comic book. No lack of creative talent just to create a quick movie to cash in on the so called COMIC BOOK MOVIE. What true readers of SANDMAN want our thought provoking, character driven, imaginative stories, not some action-adventure-good vs. evil story. SANDMAN was ground breaking in the world of comics please do not do it injustice by going mainstream. It was true art, never soil or comprimise true artistic work.
Nov. 30, 1998, 11:14 p.m. CST
Jon Peters.... can't we just brick up this idiot in a windowless dungeon along with Joel Schumacher?
Dec. 1, 1998, 12:23 a.m. CST
What is wrong with you, Harry? Are you fucking NUTS? First you let Glen go on like he's goddamn Hemingway and now you let this guy go crazy like he's fucking Gaiman himself. Jesus Christ, what's going on here? Harry, listen to me, man, if a reader has to page down 10 TIMES just to get to the meat of the review, your "reviewers" are doing TOO MUCH. Jesus Christ, even that dork Roger Ebert (the fat one, right?) only takes about 2 pages (at the most) for a review of a movie. And the guy's a professional!
Dec. 1, 1998, 1:22 a.m. CST
All right. I can understand how a complex property can be misunderstood by a large corporation like WB. I can understand how they can be blinded to Peter's mediocrity his occasional successes. I can even understand the idea of making it as accessible as possible, so they can get the largest audience possible and thus a bigger profit. What I can't understand is how they can overlook the fact the the Farmer script is just plain SHIT. I was writing better in 3rd grade. The characters are two-dimensional. The "it was all a dream" ending has been a cliche for as long as I remember. It trivializes the storyline that preceeds it. Also, changing "facts" about the _Sandman_ world alienates the Gaiman fans who will be major component of the film's audience. If WB was to just look at recent movie history, they would see examples like _Interview with the Vampire_. The author wrote the script, it was given to a respected director, and was mostly (if not entirely) true to the book. Result: a solid success. On a final note, to those of you who are shouting "KILL JOHN PETERS NOW!", please stop. While I almost agree with you, you're only hurting your case. If any body with any power to affect this property was reading Talk Back (admittedly a small chance), they would dismiss you as rabid Gaiman fanatics. -Patrick
Dec. 1, 1998, 3 a.m. CST
In the book Hit and Run, it is revealed that Peters "can barely read", and he is notorious for not reading the scripts to his movies. Clearly, Peters has not read Sandman. So what's the deal? Why can't he just go make his wacky movie and not pretend that it's The Sandman? There is no fan of The Sandman on earth that would not despise this movie. And non-fans of The Sandman aren't necessarily going to want to see it. So why not call it Dream-Man or Nightmare Man or Jon Peters Presents The Crow 2000 or whatever and get on with it? Also, why do bad things happen to good people? Why did daddy die, mommy? Why was I born? These are questions I must have answered. Please help. P.S. I think it's hilarious that people are complaining that the review is too long. HOW DARE YOU, Moriarty. If my attention span is too short to read it, then WHO THE FOCK DO YOU THINK YOU IS writing it? I AM YOUR LORD AND SAVIOR, and all web sites ABSOLUTELY MUST adhere 100% to my bad taste and limited intelligence.
Dec. 1, 1998, 5:39 a.m. CST
i won't try to go there now, i just got back from work, 8:00. but you're good, man. you're a good man. or whoever.
Dec. 1, 1998, 1:21 p.m. CST
I have never been motivated to write a anything like this before but my horror at thought of the defilement of the Sandman story is too unbearable. I may not be able to stop this atrocity from occurring, but I will make sure that no one I know will ever go see this movie! I think everyone of you true Sandman fans should do the same. Down with Warner Brothers!
Dec. 1, 1998, 1:33 p.m. CST
For those of you who dislike the way things are reviewed on AICN,SHUT THE FUCK UP, AND LET THE ONES WHO LIKE IT, ENJOY IT. If you don't like it, find another site that is to your liking. Don't try to bend the reviews to your will. All that does it fuck up a good thing. Same shit happened with Sci-Fi Universe magazine(I think). Go away and leave us to the entertaining and fun reviews of this site. I have said my piece..goodbye.
Dec. 1, 1998, 3:48 p.m. CST
by Agent of Order
I have also read several of the Sandman and the Big M. is right, the beauty is in the universality of the characters. There is no good and evil characters -- they all represent the many sides of any person. They are not cut in any time, they are not limited to any space, and would certainly never be taken to a HOSPITAL!!! Pa-leeeze! And maybe that girl keeps dying because somebody hid a helmet inside her! If what the professor says is true, then Warner really does need to get out of it's own way. Throw Peters out, take a risk and make room for some very talented young producers that will cost less and make better quality. Warner, are you in the business to make meaningful movies or to blow Jon Peters? Get yourselves in Order, Warner and listen to the heart of the properties you own. Your wildest dreams will be exceeded if only you trust in the integrity of the talent that first drew you to the property (any property). -The Agent of Order.
Dec. 1, 1998, 4:28 p.m. CST
Dec. 1, 1998, 4:55 p.m. CST
I think all comic movie adaptations should be done as independant films, this is the only way to keep the integrity of these stories.the big studios and producers,are the undoing of these great stories because of greed and pride,the concentration is soley based on trying to "produce" a blockbuster hit. when will moviemakers realize that making a good comic to movie adaption is simple, the story is there, the design and mood is there, well fuck, it's even storyboarded via panels! its just a matter of hiring capable talent,tweaking some elements to work better on screen, and the most important thing, GOOD TASTE! comic movies are always ruined by trying to market them for kids. Batman didn't need to be dumbed down for kids, why add an intense cheese factor? why the bad diologue? why the stupid hockey scene? why the insipid array of cheesy bat- gadgets? BIG BUGETS MEAN NOTHING! BIG PRODUCERS MEAN NOTHING! all you need is good taste and a love and respect for the medium that is comics! I'll even prove it if I have to. if anybody's interested, give me a reasonable budget, and I'll give you a great movie. all comic movies should be nothing less than spectular, and so far no movie has been even close.
Dec. 1, 1998, 7:54 p.m. CST
The guy above me wrote, "all comic movies should be nothing less than spectular, and so far no movie has been even close." I disagree - there have been plenty of good comic book adaptations. THE CROW, for example, is in my opinion far, far, FAR better than its source material, taking the same basic storyline and tone but adding better characterization and replacing J. O'Barr's atrocious drawings with an exquisitely imagined cinematic universe. I also loved the very funny and stylish BLADE, although I haven't read the comic book. Other very enjoyable comic book adaptations include THE PHANTOM, THE ROCKETEER, BARBARELLA, BATMAN RETURNS, BATMAN, BATMAN: MASK OF THE PHANTASM... and surely there are others I'm forgetting. If someone actually made a good SANDMAN movie it would not be without precedent (although the book is obviously very different from any other comic book in existence.)
Dec. 2, 1998, 6:09 a.m. CST
by Nick Morgan
What's the big deal about a crap screenplay on a brilliant comic/book? This has happend before and will happen again. Why? Because movie spectators outnumber readers (even minimalistic readers of comics). Therefore the audience of any movie will not comprise of fans of the respective original printed version. So they dont know the original, and often don't even care about a proper adaptation. All they want is there moneys worth 2 hour endertainment. In case of an audiance stumbling into a movie called SANDMAN, they expect comic action a la BATMAN. Lets face it fellow SANDMAN comic readers, we are a minority. We will not be the main audience of any movie (even though people here think a studio will adapt a movie to suit people reading comic books and writing Email messages to fancy sites...). They did not care when they made BATMAN (using a stupid script although Frank Millers Return of the Dark Knight was available). And after SANDMAN they will do it again to V FOR VENDETTA, WATCHMEN (and for the more NON USA oriented intellectuals among the readers: JOHN DIFOOL (INCAL) or even MORBUS GRAVIS) or any other comic work of art. A pitty it happens to SANDMAN, as this is by all means a story that reaches beyond the usual Marvel/DC consumers. I would be interested in the actual sales figures of SANDMAN. Cant be that high, can they?
Dec. 2, 1998, 7:06 a.m. CST
by ABBA 21
This world is not my home. It's all over now, baby blue. Fuck it. Let's go to bed.
Dec. 2, 1998, 9:56 p.m. CST
by The NightWalker
Right. Time to kill some rumors. First, Neil doesn't "own" Sandman, that's why he's not doing the script, and he's not a consultant. As he says: "I don't want to barbeque my own baby." He ran it for 75 issues, and the story was told. Second, the Bill Farmer script is dead people. It has been quite dead since late Sept/early Oct. They were looking for a new writer when a script appeared on the doorstep to Warner, almost as if it were a dream. From what I've heard, the script is VERY faithful to issues 1-7. Let's hope Warner gets some sense and goes with the good one when they see it. -=- The NightWalker -=- alt.fan.neil-gaiman
Dec. 3, 1998, 6:36 p.m. CST
testing, one two three...
Dec. 3, 1998, 6:39 p.m. CST
It's bad enough that Jon Peters is helping Tim Burton to destroy Superman, but what he's doing to Sandman is just beyond stupid. Can't somebody get him off both Superman and Sandman before it's too late and give the projects to filmmakers who WON'T screw them up--namely Paul Dini and Richard Donner on Superman and Roger Avary and Terry Gilliam on Sandman? if Peters stays with these two films, they will suck beyond all belief.
Dec. 4, 1998, 7:05 p.m. CST
but the idea of an animated series, maybe on HBO, just sounds perfect to me. That way they'd have the time to develop the story and they could also do the stories like The Dream of 1000 Cats (which would be hard to do any other way). To me the first few issues weren't the best of the series, they mainly set the stage for the entire series. It'd be a shame if the other stories (too many great ones to mention) were left on the shelf.
Jan. 31, 1999, 2:34 a.m. CST
Obviously, I'm out of the loop. Just check the timestamp on this message compared to the others. I am, in all honesty, APPALLED with Mr. Farmertan, Mr. Peckers, and Warner Bros. Grimm for what they are doing to my upbringing. This series has touched my life in so many ways, that I cannot imagine a more unjust reason for blowing up this planet if this script even gets a second draft! "Foolish Mortals! Your puny weapons can't harm me!" Ugggh, ackk, cough cough. How can anyone write such fucking crap?! Mr. Peters, may you die in Hell, in the boiler room, just below the scum sucking swines who helped educate and enhance your pea-sized brain!
Sept. 1, 2000, 11:52 a.m. CST
IMHO. I don't see how it would work. The comic has several complex themes, and the best and most complicated movies have only a few, relatively simple themes. I read one of the previous and more faithful versions of the script, and I think it would have made a bad movie.
Aug. 27, 2008, 3:48 a.m. CST
HOLY SHIT ! Jon Peters is a fucking retard !!!
July 11, 2011, 1:44 p.m. CST
Yeah, I'm kind of late too.
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