One of the biggest Netflix original series set to arrive later this year is “The Sandman,” a fantasy epic based on the acclaimed comic book written by Neil Gaiman. The author recently told Empire magazine that his main goal with the Netflix adaptation is to constantly surprise the viewer, so much so that all episodes of “The Sandman” will feel wildly different from each other. Gaiman wants Netflix’s “The Sandman” to be impossible to pin down with its genre-spanning and tone-switching approach.

“You watch Episode 1 and think, ‘Oh, I get this thing: it’s like “Downton Abbey,” but with magic,’” Gaiman said. “Then you’ll be wondering, ‘What the hell is this?’ by Episode 2, when you’re meeting Gregory the Gargoyle in The Dreaming. Episode 5 is about as dark and traumatic as anything is ever gonna get, then you’ve got Episode 6, which is probably the most feel-good of all the episodes.”

Gaiman teased that this approach will help differentiate “The Sandman” from all the other epic fantasy adaptations out there, noting, “If you didn’t like an episode of ‘Game of Thrones,’ you probably won’t like any other episode of ‘Game of Thrones.’ With ‘Sandman,’ it’s all about surprising you. It’s all about reinventing itself. It’s all about taking you on a journey you’ve not been on before.”

“The Sandman” stars Tom Sturridge in the leading role of Dream (aka Morpheus). The ensemble cast also includes Vivienne Acheampong as Lucienne, Gwendoline Christie as Lucifer, Boyd Holbrook as The Corinthian, Kirby Howell-Baptiste as Death, Stephen Fry as Gilbert, Charles Dance as Roderick Burgess, and Asim Chaudry and Sanjeev Bhaskar as Abel and Cain, respectively.

Produced by Warner Bros. Television, “The Sandman” is executive produced by co-writers Gaiman, David S. Goyer and showrunner Allan Heinberg. Netflix has not yet announced a specific release date for the series.