Two key stars from Netflix’s Sandman multiverse recently hit the picket line in support of the members of the Writers Guild of America (WGA) currently striking for better pay.
On Twitter, television writer and producer Selwyn Seyfu Hinds shared a photo of himself alongside actor Tom Ellis. In the photo, Ellis can be seen holding a sign that reads, “I’m an actor. I literally don’t know what to say.” Hinds’ tweet reads, “When your star shows up to picket. Thanks for the support Tom!!!” Hinds serves as creator and showrunner of Hulu’s upcoming television adaptation of Esi Edugyan’s 2019 novel Washington Black, which stars Ellis as Christopher “Titch” Wilde. Ellis is perhaps best known for playing the lead role of Lucifer Morningstar on the Fox/Netflix series Lucifer, based on the character of the same name originating from writer Neil Gaiman’s seminal DC/Vertigo series The Sandman.
— Selwyn Seyfu Hinds (@selwynhinds) May 4, 2023
Mason Alexander Park was also on hand to support the striking writers of NBC’s Quantum Leap reboot, on which they star as Ian Wright. “Loved spending the day with my Quantum writers,” Park tweeted, “who deserve endless donuts and a better deal for the [WGA/WGA West] and it’s [sic] many remarkably talented members… my entire career exists because of the amazing writers who have given me stories to be a part of.” In addition to their role on Quantum Leap, Park stars as Desire of the Endless on Netflix’s TV adaptation of The Sandman itself, which is co-developed by Gaiman.
Loved spending the day with my Quantum writers… who deserve endless donuts and a better deal for the #WGA @WGAWest and it’s many remarkably talented members… my entire career exists because of the amazing writers who have given me stories to be a part of. https://t.co/a5ittLtVwV
— Mason Alexander Park (@MasonAPark) May 4, 2023
The ongoing strike began on May 2 due to the WGA and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) being unable to reach an agreement for a new contract. The WGA West and WGA East unanimously approved the strike, which is the first of its kind since the WGA strike that lasted from November 2007 to February 2008. The main focus of the 2023 strike is residuals from streaming media, with the WGA asserting that the AMPTP’s cut of said residuals has resulted in declining pay for writers over the past 10 years. (Meanwhile, studio profits have only increased in that time.) Another major talking point is artificial intelligence, with writers fighting to ensure their jobs aren’t eventually taken by A.I. programs.
Netflix’s Sandman Franchise
As for Ellis, the actor starred in all six seasons of Lucifer, which aired for three seasons on Fox from 2016 to 2018 before moving to Netflix for an additional three seasons from 2019 to 2021. In 2022, Netflix debuted its adaptation of The Sandman, starring another Tom — Tom Sturridge, that is — as main protagonist Dream of the Endless. The Sandman Season 1 also featured a number of Dream’s siblings, including Death (Kirby Howell-Baptiste), Despair (Donna Preston) and, of course, the aforementioned Desire (Park). Despite sharing source material, the show has no direct connections to Lucifer, with Gwendoline Christie taking over the role of Lucifer Morningstar in The Sandman.
That said, one show that will be connected to The Sandman is Dead Boy Detectives, which recently wrapped on its own first season. Based on the Sandman comic book characters of the same name, Dead Boy Detectives was initially being developed as a standalone series for HBO Max. The show then moved to Netflix, with Gaiman subsequently confirming that it would take place in the same universe as The Sandman. Meanwhile, The Sandman has itself been renewed for a second season.