The Sandman season 2: everything we know about the hit Netflix fantasy show's return

A screenshot of a poster showing The Sandman's many characters, who should return in The Sandman season 2
The Sandman season 2 is well on its way to making its Netflix return. (Image credit: Netflix)
The Sandman season 2: key information

- Announced in November 2022
- Principal photography began in June 2023
- Filming halted by Hollywood strikes before restarting in November 2023
- Season 2 is based on fourth and fifth graphic novels in Neil Gaiman-penned book series
- Main cast members expected to return
- New actors and their roles reportedly revealed
- No trailer released yet
- Unclear if show will be renewed for a third season
- One spin-off in development, with others potentially on the way

The Sandman season 2 feels like it's a long way off at this point. Netflix's TV adaptation of Neil Gaiman's iconic graphic novel series is still being filmed as we speak (or, rather, write), so it's going to be a while before it takes its first steps on the streaming giant.

In the meantime, there's plenty of reading up for you to do on The Sandman's second season. In this article, we've compiled a list of everything we know about one of the best Netflix shows' sophomore outing. That includes our thoughts on when it'll air, as well as its confirmed cast, likely story threads, and the show's future.

Major spoilers follow for The Sandman season 1 and Gaiman's literary works. Potential season 2 spoilers are also discussed, so be warned if you haven't read the source material from start to finish.

The Sandman season 2 release date: what we know

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The Sandman season 2 doesn't have a release date yet. But, after a lengthy wait, season 2 of The Sandman was no longer a dream for Netflix fans after it was announced in November 2022.

With The Sandman stirring from its slumber for a big season 2 announcement – said reveal being that filming had recommenced in November 2023 following the end of the Hollywood actors and writers strikes – the countdown is on for its return on the world's best streaming service.

So, when can we expect it to launch? We predict The Sandman's next installment will arrive in early 2025. It could be released at the very end of 2024, but that would mean a ridiculous crunch period for the VFX-heavy show. We think Netflix will allow its cast and crew to get every detail right before it's ready to air – it took 35 years for a live-action adaptation to finally see the light of day, after all – so we're confident the streaming giant won't rush it out.

The Sandman season 2 cast: confirmed and rumored

Lucienne, Cain, Dream, and Abel look at someone off-camera in The Sandman season 1

Lucienne, Cain, Dream, and Abel should all return for season 2. (Image credit: Netflix)

Spoilers follow for The Sandman season 1.

The Sandman season 2's cast hasn't been officially announced yet, but here's who we expect to see again following their appearances in season 1 and the show's bonus episode:

  • Tom Sturridge as Morpheus/Dream
  • Vivienne Acheampong as Lucienne 
  • Patton Oswalt as Matthew the Raven
  • Gwendoline Christie as Lucifer Morningstar
  • Mason Alexander Park as Desire 
  • Jenna Coleman as Johanna Constantine 
  • Kirby Howell-Baptiste as Death 
  • Vanesu Samunyai as Rose Walker 
  • Eddie Karanja as Jed Walker  
  • Razane Jammal as Lyta Hall 
  • Donna Preston as Despair
  • Sanjeev Bhaskar as Cain 
  • Asim Chaudhry as Abel 
  • Melissanthi Mahut as Calliope

There'll be a couple of new faces in the show's sophomore outing, too. At CCXP 2022 (aka Brazil Comic-Con), which was posted on Netflix Brasil's X account, Neil Gaiman confirmed another of the Endless – Delirium, i.e. the immortal group's youngest member – would make their bow. Per a thread posted on the DCEULeaks Reddit forum, Esme Creed-Miles (Hanna) has reportedly been cast as Delirium.

Gaiman also teased (via Entertainment Weekly (EW)) that David Tennant and Michael Sheen, who voiced characters in bonus episode story 'A Dream of Thousand Cats', might appear in the main show. It's unclear if they'll play the same individuals from that short story and/or show up in season 2, however.

As for other newcomers, Indya Moore (Pose), whose role is currently unknown, was seen filming scenes with Sturridge and Howell-Baptiste prior to the 2023 actors strike (per UK newspaper The Daily Mail). Additionally, What's on Netflix also suggests Ruairi O'Connor (The Morning Show) has been cast as Morpheus' son Orpheus, which might also mean the return of Melissanthi Mahut's Calliope – Orpheus' mother and Morpheus' lover – who starred in 'Calliope', aka the second short story in season 1's bonus episode.

The Sandman season 2 story speculation

Lucifer balances on her hands as she leans on a table in The Sandman season 1

Lucifer will be gunning for Morpheus in season 2. (Image credit: Netflix)

Full spoilers follow for The Sandman season 1, plus potential spoilers for season 2.

Story details are understandably thin on the ground, but there's much we can speculate on, based on how season 1 ended and the overarching narrative that plays out in Gaiman's works.

Before we get into that, while we've all been referring to The Sandman's next outing as season 2, that might be a misguided assessment. Indeed, upon The Sandman's renewal, a Netflix press release simply called it "a continuation of the story", rather than a definitive second season. 

So, what gives? Well, The Sandman's primary plot jumps from one graphic novel to the next, often leaping thousands of years in the process, so the structure of the live-action adaptation's narrative isn't likely to follow Netflix's usual 10-episode length and/or seasonal terminology. Speaking to Collider, actors Kirby Howell-Baptiste and Vivienne Acheampong suggested we'll continue to see a non-linear story play out, meaning the show's future installments might be known as volumes, rather than traditional seasons. 

A side shot of Lucifer and Morpheus squaring off in The Sandman season 1

Expect a tense rematch between Lucifer and Morpheus in the show's next installment. (Image credit: Netflix)

Okay, so what do we know about The Sandman's second outing? It'll draw from the forth and fifth volumes of Gaiman's works – 'Season of Mists' and 'A Game of You' – which the author confirmed to, saying: "Our plans for the second season is the second two graphic novels, which technically, in this case, will be books four and five, with some bits of the short stories in book three scattered among some other stuff."

What that means in practice is complicated. The Sandman is not a linear saga, and what happens in 'Season of Mists' and 'A Game of You' are not related. Whether Gaiman, showrunner Allen Heinberg, and producer David S. Goyer stick to the stories as they're told in the books, or try to rework them into a more linear narrative for general audiences, is unclear. That said, The Sandman season 1 was very faithful, so it's hard to see why things will deviate too far from the original formula.

Per Netflix Tudum, here's a teaser for the show's next chapter: "When last we left Dream, and his friends and foes, the forces of hell were on the move, led by Lucifer themself. The new episodes of the series will dive into that conflict and continue to explore the many challenges facing the universe in the wake of Morpheus’ century-long absence."

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Established fans will know how the continuing battle between Hell's overlord and Morpheus plays out. However, for less well-versed fans wanting some more details, we'll let Heinberg reveal more (via EW): "The end of episode 1 [of season 2] is Dream saying to Matthew 'I'm going to Hell and I may not come back. So then episode two begins with the rematch between Dream and Lucifer. It's so juicy! I'm so looking forward to doing something entirely different with Gwendoline's look. I don't want to spoil the surprises for people who haven't read 'Season of Mists', but that's where Dream's trouble really begins."

Adds Gaiman (via ET Online): "The Lucifer-Morpheus rematch is going to happen and it is going to be a stranger, darker, and much more disruptive Morpheus than anybody could possibly imagine who hasn't actually snuck out and read Season of Mists' in The Sandman comics." Color us excited.

Rose holds Lyta's baby as Lyta looks on in The Sandman season 1

Morpheus will be keeping a close eye on Lyta's baby. (Image credit: Netflix)

As for 'A Game of You', which is centered around Barbie, one of the Hal's B&B guests we met in season 1, Heinberg teased: "We've got a lot of characters who aren't even human, who are talking animals, who I'm looking forward to meeting. Lenny Henry is so good as Martin Tenbones, and I can't wait for the audience to meet [new characters like] Wanda, Foxglove, and Hazel."

There's plenty more plot-wise to look forward to, including what becomes of Lyta's baby (who Morpheus will certainly be keeping an eye on), Lyta's comic book ties to iconic DC superhero Wonder Woman, Morpheus' problems with Desire, the potential return of The Corinthian – providing Gaiman and company want to bring that aspect of the source material into season 2 – and Morpheus' promise to be a more benevolent ruler of the Dreaming, i.e. his domain. We'll see how all of these plot points (and many more!) shake out in The Sandman season 2.

The Sandman season 2 trailer: is there one?

Dream sits in a chair in season 1 of Netflix's The Sandman TV show

Sitting around waiting for The Sandman season 2 trailer like... (Image credit: Netflix)

No and it'll be a while before a teaser for The Sandman season 2 is with us. We'll update this section once one is released.

Will The Sandman get a third season on Netflix?

Netflix hasn't said if The Sandman season 2 will get a sequel, but two characters who – in canonical terms – appear in Gaiman's source material will make their live-action debut soon in spin-off show Dead Boy Detectives.

For the uninitiated: Dead Boy Detectives was initially created by Gaiman, and follows the adventures of Edwin Paine and Charles Rowland, who are murdered at various points during the 20th century but refuse to pass onto the afterlife. Instead, they stick around and investigate crimes concerning the undead and the supernatural.

The pair were first introduced in the 'Seasons Of Mist' storyline (The Sandman #25, to be precise) during a brief interlude from Morpheus' deliberations about the future of Hell. The duo are never seen in the graphic novels, but they would later go on to have their own comic book spin-off series, which was helmed by Ed Brubaker and Byran Talbot. 

A live-action TV show of Dead Boy Detectives was greenlit in late 2021, with Max (then known as HBO Max) set to be its streaming home. In February 2023, though, it moved over to Netflix, with its first trailer (see above) released in November 2023 as one of four underrated Netflix Geeked Week 2023 announcements.

Johanna Constantine looks at someone off-screen in The Sandman season 1

Is a Johanna Constantine spin-off in the works? (Image credit: Netflix)

No launch date has been set yet, but we know Dead Boy Detectives will tie into Netflix's wider Sandman universe. As revealed by Gaiman, one of the Endless will feature in Dead Boy Detectives (per The Sandman News X fan account), which should link it to the mainline series.

Dead Boy Detectives might only be the start of a more expansive live-action Sandman universe, too. Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Jenna Coleman teased the possibility of a Johanna Constantine spin-off project, which Gaiman and Heinberg are keen to pursue.

As for how long the main show could run, Gaiman told Variety: "As long as the audience is there... we want to tell the whole story that went through to 'The Wake'. And after that we want to tell 'Sandman: Overture' and... we’d love to do things like 'The Dream Hunters' We quite probably weave the stories that are in 'Sandman: Endless Nights' into the body of the whole. 

"What is nice is we have the entirety of The Sandman to draw on. We also have the 'Death' books. It might be great to go off and do one of those as a sideline... we can keep going on this for a long time to come". We hope we speak for everyone when we say we hope you do, Neil.

For more Netflix TV-based coverage, read our guides on Stranger Things season 5, Arcane season 2, The Lincoln Lawyer season 3, and Wednesday season 2.

Senior Entertainment Reporter

As TechRadar's senior entertainment reporter, Tom covers all of the latest movies, TV shows, and streaming service news that you need to know about. You'll regularly find him writing about the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Star Wars, Netflix, Prime Video, Disney Plus, and many other topics of interest.

An NCTJ-accredited journalist, Tom also writes reviews, analytical articles, opinion pieces, and interview-led features on the biggest franchises, actors, directors and other industry leaders. You may see his quotes pop up in the odd official Marvel Studios video, too, such as this Moon Knight TV spot.

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