The Sandman filming locations tour (in planning)

Here at Silverscreen Tours we can’t wait for the highly anticipated Netflix adaptation of The Sandman to hit the screen. We have long been fans of Neil Gaiman‘s groundbreaking comic novels, which were published between January 1989 and March 1996 on DC Comics. Netflix has announced the first season of 10 hour-long episodes all to be released on August 5, 2022.

We are currently preparing a filming locations tour from London for The Sandman fans. Even if we’re still in a very early planning phase, we hope you’ll enjoy our preview of the filming locations that we have identified so far (April 2022). This is still work on progress, so expect changes and updates as we approach the release date.

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Season 1 spans Preludes and Nocturnes, The Doll’s House and parts of Dream Country. After her stunning performance as Brienne of Tarth in Game of Thrones and Captain Phasma in Star Wars, one highlight will surely be the always magnificent Gwendoline Christie as Lucifer.

Although the casting and other production details are well known, there is almost no official information regarding the filming locations of the upcoming season. The only first-hand statements that we have found so far is that all shots took place in the UK. The British Film Commission is a bit more specific, limiting the filming area to the southeast of England and also naming Warner Bros Studios Leavesden as the production studio.

Neil Gaiman also mentions a second studio in his Behind The Scenes Sneak Peek video on YouTube. From 0:22, he lets us know that “I’m here at Shepperton Studios and I’m getting to see that happens, when you bring dreams to life”.  The studio has agreements with both Netflix and Amazon Prime, and is the home of independent UK productions as well as big-budget blockbusters like Captain America: The First Avenger.

Other than the production studios and the southeast England, we have only found unofficial sources in our research for The Sandman filming locations. This doesn’t mean that they are unreliable, they are just not confirmed by the production team and we can’t verify the locations until the series is public.

Check out the below list of filming locations for the first season of The Sandman. Most locations are reported by first-hand eye witnesses supported by photos of the film sets.

Locations (7)

1. Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden

Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden
Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden

According to the British Film Commission, Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden is home to Netflix’s adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s acclaimed graphic novel The Sandman. This is surely no big surprise, taking into account that the series is being produced in association with DC Entertainment and Warner Bros.

We even get to see one of the fantastic sets at the Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden from 1:02 in The Sandman | Behind The Scenes Sneak Peek | Netflix. Gaiman takes us into the Undercroft, the dark halls where Roderick Burgess tries to capture Death but instead catches her brother Dream. “Our art department, our set decorators, our production designers… they are wizards” says Neil Gaiman, “It’s like walking around your own dreams.”

The Sandman is not the first mega-production coming to life at Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden. The Fantastic Beasts movies, Batman: The Dark Knight, Wonder Woman, Mission: Impossible and Alien: Covenant are just a few of the blockbusters being produced here. And of course there are the Harry Potter movies, which you can celebrate at the neighboring “Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter“.

2. Canary Wharf / New York

Canary Wharf / New York in The Sandman
Canary Wharf / New York in The Sandman

According to Neil Gaiman, there were plans for filming The Sandman on original locations, but Covid changed all that. The first season were shot entirely in the UK, mostly in or around London.

So, instead of sending cast and crew to New York, the production crew kind of moved New York to London, to Canary Warf to be precise. Thanks to Mark Oliver – a professional photographer based in East London – this secret operation didn’t go unnoticed. He discovered and shot photos of a number of objects distinctively foreign to London. See if you can spot them in the image gallery below. 😉

This is surely not the first time that London has had to stand in for New York in a film production. However, Mark Oliver specifically mentions The Sandman filming locations in his photo captions and Twitter feed.

The Sandman - Canary Wharf

3. Richmond Green

Richmond Green / The Sandman filming location
Richmond Green / The Sandman filming location

We don’t know which scenes were shot at Richmond Green in June 2021, but Richmond Nub News claims that filming was for the upcoming The Sandman streaming series. Apparently, camera crews and actors cast for the Netflix’s adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s graphic novels were seen around The Richmond Green and Pembroke Villas, but no names or details regarding the production was mentioned.

That leaves many questions open about the filming location to the west of London, but time and place fits the known production schedule of The Sandman.

4. Shepperton Studios

Shepperton Studios
Shepperton Studios

In his Behind The Scenes Sneak Peek video on YouTube, Neil Gaiman lets us know that “I’m here at Shepperton Studios and I’m getting to see that happens, when you bring dreams to life”.

The studio has agreements with both Netflix and Amazon Prime, and it has hosted independent UK productions as well as big-budget blockbusters like Captain America: The First Avenger.

5. Guildford Cathedral

Guildford Cathedral / The Sandman filming location
Guildford Cathedral / The Sandman filming location

The local news sites SurreyLive and The Guildford Dragon both reported filming for The Sandman at Guildford Cathedral in February 2021. They also included photos of the Cathedral surrounded by security guards, trucks, cranes and lighting equipment. And the site was closed to the public for over two weeks without disclosing further details.

There can be no doubt that a big-budget production visited the Guildford Cathedral in February, but was it related to the filming of Neil Gaiman’s acclaimed comic books? Social media users were pretty confident that Netflix’s The Sandman was filmed in Guildford, although there’s been no official confirmation from the production companies or Guildford Cathedral (as usual…). However, locals working on the set hinted at The Sandman being filmed at the Cathedral.

The south windows where blacked out and the lighting equipment placed outside the cathedral were probably used to create effects for internal scenes.

6. Hankley Common / Hell

Hankley Common / The Sandman Filming Location
Hankley Common / The Sandman Filming Location

SurreyLive was the first to report that filming in Hankley Common is rumored to be for the upcoming The Sandman TV series. According to Full Circle Cinema, this has now been confirmed. The TV Series will probably be released on Netflix in the second half of 2022.

We still don’t know what location this set could be, but it might stand in for Hell as we saw it in A Hope in Hell, where Morpheus journeyed through Hell to reclaim his helm. It seems most of it will be recreated in post-production, so this set could just be the groundwork for the setting.

7. Sandbanks Beach

Sandbanks Beach
Sandbanks Beach

Dorset has recently been a popular destination for films and TV series like Ammonite, Dunkirk, Broadchurch and Wolf Hall, just to name a few. But according to DorsetLive, 2021 added another notable show to the long list of productions taking place in the beautiful county along the English Channel: Netflix’s The Sandman.

In late March 2021, Sandbanks beach was partially closed off for filming and locals spotted 130 extras taking part in the production of the streaming series. In a Freedom of Information request, the Dorset Council confirmed that filming was for the highly anticipated adaption of Neil Gaiman’s graphic novels from 1989 to 1996.

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