Hell Yes

Indya Moore will play a major trans character in The Sandman Season 2

After a long wait, Netflix has unveiled new cast members joining the second season of The Sandman. The new cast includes Pose star Indya Moore, who will portray the iconic trans character Wanda Mann.

Neil Gaiman, creator of the groundbreaking comic book on which the series is based, previously hinted at the scope of Wanda’s role in an interview shortly after the 2022 premiere of the first season. “Wanda is an absolutely integral part of The Sandman universe and ‘A Game of You,’” he said at the time. “And if we’re lucky enough to make Season 2, Wanda will be a huge, huge part… It’s going to be so much fun casting fabulous trans actors.”

Now, Season 2 is officially on its way (though the release date is still a mystery), and we know exactly who that fabulous trans actor is. Indya Moore portrayed Angel Evangelista on Pose, voiced the first nonbinary character in Steven Universe, and became the first transgender person to appear on the US edition cover of Elle.

On July 2, Netflix published an update on the second season, which provides some insight into how exactly Wanda will join the action. The series overall follows Dream (Tom Sturridge), who is the Lord of Dreams and one the seven cosmic beings known as the Endless. After Dream breaks out of a 70 year captivity, he embarks on a journey to rebuild his kingdom in the realm of dreams.

“In the next chapter of The Sandman, the King of Dreams will come face-to-face — and go toe-to-toe — with the formidable rulers of Hell, Asgard, Faerie, and the realms beyond,” showrunner Allan Heinberg told Tudum.

Wanda plays a large role in the comic’s fifth major story arc, “A Game of You,” which season 2 will cover. She will join a host of queer characters introduced in Season One, such as the nonbinary immortal Desire (Mason Alexander Park).

Gaiman, who wrote The Sandman largely in the early 90s, made a point of giving a voice in comics to his queer friends in a time when there was barely a whisper. “Wanda began for me in 1988, because I had trans friends and was not seeing them reflected in the comics I was reading, so I resolved to create a trans woman in a mainstream comic, the first time that had happened,” he said.

“For over three decades, people have been telling me that she was an inspiration to them. I’m thrilled that, 35 years later, she’s on the screen in all her glory.”

Gaiman has also acknowledged that, in spite of his good intentions, there are aspects of the queer characters that have not aged well. He has made addressing this a priority for the Netflix adaptation. “My biggest request to the Sandman showrunner for when we get to the season with ‘Game of You’ in it is that we have trans men and trans women in the writers’ room,” Gaiman said in a 2020 with author NK Jemisin. “Not as consultants, but as writers.”

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