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Joseph Gordon-Levitt Producing Sandman
And he may also direct and star

17 December 2013  |  Written by Owen Williams  |  Source: Deadline / Joseph Gordon-Levitt

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Neil Gaiman's Sandman

A month or so ago came the news that Dark Knight screenwriter David S. Goyer was pitching a movie adaptation of Neil Gaiman's Sandman comics to Warner Bros. With that story came the whisper of Joseph Gordon-Levitt's involvement somewhere in the project, although the details were unclear. This morning that fog has lifted: Gordon-Levitt, it's revealed, is certainly attached as producer, and may also direct and star as the dream lord Morpheus: the Sandman of the title.

Gordon-Levitt confirmed the news on his Twitter feed, initially with a vague announcement saying that he was "honoured to be working with David Goyer, Warner Bros, and Neil Gaiman on Sandman".

When an excitable internet leapt to immediate conclusions about what that might mean, however, he clarified that the starring and directing bit "remains to be seen"...

With a critically successful recent directorial debut in Don Jon, and a proven track record as a star at Warners via Inception and The Dark Knight Rises (not to mention Sony's Looper, which he also exec-produced), let's just say he's likely very strongly in contention.

Sandman, for those so far unfamiliar, was a 75-issue DC/Vertigo comics series published in the 1990s. Gaiman's own one-line synopsis was: "The lord of dreams learns that one must change or die, and makes his decision," but there's obviously a lot more to it than that, with the sprawling series taking in pantheons and mythologies from across the globe, via threads about fantastical quests, serial killers, road trips, and short stories only tangentially connected to the core narrative.

A screen version has been in development hell for years, most recently in the form of a proposed television series to be overseen by Supernatural's Eric Kripke. This new cinema incarnation obviously puts the final kibosh on that, so it's intriguing to wonder how Goyer will compress and tame the material to movie length: even if, as seems likely, we're talking here about the first movie of an intended several.

There may already be a clue in those JG-L tweets though: note the "#Prelude". Preludes & Nocturnes is the first volume of the collected Sandman, detailing Morpheus' seventy-year imprisonment at the hands of a Crowley-like sorceror, which causes any number of ongoing sleep-related issues for a select few international mortals. Morpheus' escape from his long captivity is where the story starts. It makes sense if that's the chapter Goyer and Gordon-Levitt are currently working on.

Mostly speculation at this point then, but certainly more news to come, probably in the not-too-distant future. Will this be the Sandman that finally makes it to the screen? It suddenly seems very possible. Watch this space for developments.


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Your Comments

RE: Sandman
L: AxlReznor Stardust was a fun and entertaining family adventure. It wasn't like the book, of course, but another thing he's known for saying - and which I agree with him with - is that if a book and movie are exactly the same "what's the point?" he main problem with Stardust were some of the directorial choices, and then some of the inclusions within the film. Ricky Gervais for instance. Literally every I know who's seen the movie has said that he was the worst part of the movie. H More

Posted by GrizBe at 12:47 on 18 December 2013 | Report This Post

RE: Sandman
L: Simon124 "I'd rather no films got made than bad films got made" Not sure about that, Stardust was pretty dire, and certainly bookmarked this run of awful performances by de Niro... But JGL is a pretty talented guy, loved him in Nolan's films, maybe he could direct? tardust was a fun and entertaining family adventure. It wasn't like the book, of course, but another thing he's known for saying - and which I agree with him with - is that if a book and movie are exactly the same "what's More

Posted by AxlReznor at 09:32 on 18 December 2013 | Report This Post

RE: Sandman
"I'd rather no films got made than bad films got made" Not sure about that, Stardust was pretty dire, and certainly bookmarked this run of awful performances by de Niro... But JGL is a pretty talented guy, loved him in Nolan's films, maybe he could direct? More

Posted by Simon124 at 09:27 on 18 December 2013 | Report This Post

RE: More Gaiman please!
Sandman is one of my favourite graphic novel series, so a film adaptation would be extremely welcome. Gaiman really does need more of his works adapted into movies. I'd especially love to see an adaptation of American Gods. As for casting... now its joined together, it seems so obvious for Levitt to be cast as Morpheus. He's got the right look for the character, and the acting chops to pull it off well too. Only others I could see doing it justice would be Cumberbatch, who seems to get at More

Posted by GrizBe at 17:16 on 17 December 2013 | Report This Post

RE: More Gaiman please!
L: waltham1979 I am genuinely very excited for this. In the mix of constant remakes of remakes of reboots that is churned out by the studios, I am utterly at a loss to explain why more of Gaiman's work hasn't been given the big budget treatment. The likes of American Gods, Never Where and Anansi Boys are perfect fruit to be picked in comparison to more fucking Underworld or Resident Evil shit!!! 'm not sure if it's still happening, but Gaiman announced last year that he was writing a sc More

Posted by AxlReznor at 13:28 on 17 December 2013 | Report This Post

More Gaiman please!
I am genuinely very excited for this. In the mix of constant remakes of remakes of reboots that is churned out by the studios, I am utterly at a loss to explain why more of Gaiman's work hasn't been given the big budget treatment. The likes of American Gods, Never Where and Anansi Boys are perfect fruit to be picked in comparison to more fucking Underworld or Resident Evil shit!!! More

Posted by waltham1979 at 13:14 on 17 December 2013 | Report This Post

RE: Finally...
L: Alex DeLarge Some real concrete news on the progress of this project. everyone wants a series but aurely that's still an option after the films?umberbatch for Morpheus... here was a shortlived comic series after The Sandman ended called The Dreaming which focused on different minor characters within Dream's realm (like Merv Pumpkinhead, Cain and Abel, etc.), with occasional appearances from Dream himself. If the films are a success (which, as much as I want to see them, the story is More

Posted by AxlReznor at 12:49 on 17 December 2013 | Report This Post

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