SANDMAN Gains Writer, Loses Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Oh, no!

sandman joseph gordon levittSo, are you ready for some good news and some bad news regarding the Sandman film?

The good news is that the New Line film has gotten a writer. And that writer would be Eric Heisserer.

Heisserer’s resume, which include the horror films Final Destination 5 and the remakes of Nightmare on Elm Street and The Thing, lead one to believe that the direction the film will be going in will be in that genre. This isn’t bad news because the early issues of the comic book series were set in the horror genre, before moving onto a fantasy type tone in later volumes.

The bad news is that if that is in fact the direction, it doesn’t sit well with Joseph Gordon-Levitt. The actor/director/producer has stepped down from the project as of earlier tonight. This is what he said earlier tonight on Facebook:

RE: SANDMAN

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.

This could mean anything. It could mean Gordon Levitt didn’t like the horror bent. Or it could mean that he didn’t like the budget New Line was giving him. Or anything in between. But studio’s vision for a film chasing of potential directors is never a good thing.

As to what Sandman co-creator Neil Gaiman had to say?

Gordon-Levitt’s leaving  creates a big hole in the project. He did bring a modicum of star power to the film. It will be interesting to see who they will get to replace him.

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About William Gatevackes 1936 Articles
William is cursed with the shared love of comic books and of films. Luckily, this is a great time for him to be alive. His writing has been featured on Broken Frontier.com, PopMatters.com and in Comics Foundry magazine.

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