The news broke just before Christmas that Joseph Gordon-Levitt, David S. Goyer and Neil Gaiman are developing a film adaptation of Gaiman's Sandman comic series for Warner Bros. The initial announcements came in the form of a couple of cursory tweets from Gordon-Levitt himself, but he's now expanded on his thoughts regarding the dream lord Morpheus in an interview with IGN.
"I love just the basic concept of it," he says of his attraction to the material, "just the concept of personifying Dream, along with all of his brothers and sisters, the seven Endless personifying Death, Destruction, Delirium, Destiny, Desire and Despair. I mean, that's just a fascinating and, I think, a really cinematic concept."
Asked whether, post-The Dark Knight Rises and his role in the forthcoming Sin City: A Dame To Kill For, Gordon-Levitt thinks he might be overdoing things on the comics front, he rejoinders that he pays attention to material and content rather than categories and genres. And he has some encouraging thoughts on the ways that Sandman could and should represent a very different kind of comicbook movie.
"I love big, spectacular movies," he muses, "but oftentimes big, spectacular movies sort of get stuck in a rut. They go down certain paths that end in big explosions or whatever. Sandman has so much opportunity to do something that's on a grand, grand scale, but really unlike your average big, grand-scale, spectacular movie. I guess that's the tip of the iceberg."
Gordon-Levitt's use of "#Prelude" in his December tweets led to speculation that we were specifically talking about an adaptation of the first Sandman collection Preludes & Nocturnes, but he says now that this is jumping the gun. "I honestly just wrote that as sort of a pun," he insists, "because this tweet was a prelude to who-knows-what's to come. Obviously "Prelude" is the title of the first issue, but... Yeah, nothing is cemented yet."
He also won't be drawn on - or has yet to fully thrash out - the extent of his involvement. While he's certainly attached to Sandman as a producer, the speculation persists that he might also both direct and star. "There's lots of potential," he says, "but it's still very, very early days."
Watch this space for future updates. And if you haven't already, you should really seek out the comics or, if you need further inspiration, listen to our Neil Gaiman podcast for a little more on past attempts to film the series.