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Comic icon 'The Sandman' TV series in works

The book helped establish DC’s Vertigo imprint and won several awards. It also was one of the few comics that segued from the comics crowd, entering the intellectual and art worlds and winning over a large non-comics-reading audience, particularly via a devoted female following.

A movie version of "Sandman" had been in development since the mid-’90s, with an early version involving Roger Avary. That cooled earlier in the decade, with the thinking that to the best way to tackle an adaptation is the TV route. At one point DC was in talks with HBO and James Mangold to develop a show without WBTV’s involvement, but that never coalesced.

Gaiman was not officially involved with the HBO attempt, though he and Mangold held several rounds of talks surrounding characters and story. The author is not involved in the latest development, though because it is early in the process, that could change.

Kripke has been described as interested in tackling an adaptation but cautious because the comic book has such a passionate following and is held in such high regard. It’s the kind of series where each production decision, from casting to script to design, would be scrutinized by devotees.

Still, Kripke managed to create and sustain "Supernatural," which week in and week out deals with fantasy, mythological and horror elements. He also displayed a certain amount of creative integrity when he stuck to his guns by not returning as showrunner when the network renewed the series for a sixth season after he completed a planned five-season story line.

WBTV and WME, which reps Kripke, declined to comment.

(Borys Kit contributed to this report.)