SANDMAN Loses Joseph Gordon Levitt, Adds Writer

Written by Andrew Pollard Monday, 07 March 2016

Movie News

For those who have been waiting patiently for the Joseph Gordon Levitt-starring Sandman to hit the big screen, there’s some good and bad news coming out of this past weekend.

Firstly, the positive news is that, as reported by THR, New Line Cinema have brought in Eric Heisserer to work on the film’s script. Heiserrer’s writing credits include genre efforts such as Final Destination 5, the A Nightmare on Elm Street redo, and 2011’s The Thing. And whilst that’s a positive step for the film, there’s also been a big step back for the feature.

In a massive hit to the project, Gordon Levitt has taken to Facebook to announce that he’s had to depart the project. Not only was JGL on board to star, he was also due to direct the adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s classic work.

The full statement from Gordon Levitt reads as follows:

“So, as you might know if you like to follow these sorts of things, a while back, David Goyer and I made a producing deal with Warner Brothers to develop a movie adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s SANDMAN. Neil himself came on as an executive producer, we hired the excellent screenwriter, Jack Thorne, and we started in on the ambitious task of adapting one of the most beloved and boundary-pushing titles in the world of comics. I was pleased with the progress we were making, even though we still had quite a ways to go.

Recently, as you also might know if you like to follow these sorts of things, the sorta “ownership” (for lack of a better term) of the Sandman material changed hands when Warner Brothers shifted the entire catalogue of Vertigo comics (an imprint of DC) to their subsidiary, New Line. And a few months ago, I came to realize that the folks at New Line and I just don’t see eye to eye on what makes Sandman special, and what a film adaptation could/should be. So unfortunately, I decided to remove myself from the project. I wish nothing but the best for the team moving forward.

I’d like to thank all the great people I’ve had the opportunity to work with on this one. I’ve had a blast with and learned a ton from David and Jack. Niija Kuykendall, Greg Silverman, and everyone at Warner Brothers have been fantastic, as have Geoff Johns and everyone at DC. And it’s been a particular privilege as well as a rocking good time getting to know Mr. Gaiman, whose generous insights and masterful work have certainly convinced me that the Lord of Dreams and the Prince of Stories are one and the same Endless pattern.”

Launched in 1989 under DC’s Vertigo imprint, Sandman initially ran for 75 issues until 1996. The focal point of the story was Dream, one of the Endless, and his brothers and sisters; Death, Desire, Despair, Delirium, Destruction and Destiny.  A strange, twisted tale of worlds within worlds, Sandman is generally seen as one of the greatest comic books of all time. It even holds the honour of being one of the few graphic novels to make it onto the New York Times Best Seller list.

As ever, ever more on this as and when it develops.

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