by: S. Scott Stanikmas – Senior Staff Writer
Sandman, the comic book from DC’s Vertigo imprint (for the more mature and out there concepts) has been a labor of love getting to the big screen. Joseph Gordon-Levitt and David Goyer have been crafting a story that would do the source material justice for some time now and it looked hopeful that we’d see something soon, especially with JGL signed on to direct.
But the project seems to have taken a “one step forward, two steps back” kind of turn in the last few days.
The one step forward being new screenwriter, Eric Heisserer announced on Friday. You might know Heisserer, for his work on the remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street and the prequel to The Thing, has been tapped to pen this adaptation. At the time it was announced it was assumed that Heisserer would be doing some polish work on the story that Levitt and Goyer had been working on.
Now for the two steps back. Heisserer might be starting from scratch, as it looks like Joseph Gordon-Levitt has dropped out of helming the comic book adaptation. The actor posted the following message to his Facebook page a short while after the news of the new screenwriter hit the internet:
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.
So that’s where it stands folks. It might be even longer now before we get to see Morpheus and the rest of the Endless on the silver screen…unless Warner Bros and New Line already have someone else in mind. Keep checking back here as we’ll update with any news as soon as we hear about it.