This past summer, Warner Brothers slid the film projects based on corporate sibling DC Comics’ Vertigo imprint over to Time Warner subsidiary New Line Pictures. It was a move that would allow potential movies that were not going to be part of Warners’ overarching cohesive cinematic universe featuring heroes like Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman to be developed and released on their own timeline without the pressures of making franchise mandated deadlines.
The biggest of these potential films is Sandman. Based on writer Neil Gaiman’s multiple award winning series about Morpheus, the cosmic embodiment of humanity’s need to dream, various attempts to bring Sandman to the big screen have been ongoing since the early 1990s. The current incarnation of the film project has actor/director Joseph Gordon-Levitt and producer David Goyer working to make it happen. And judging from an interview that Collider did with Goyer while he was on the rounds promoting the upcoming season of his series Da Vinci’s Demons on Starz, it may actually be happening this time.
So we’re just starting a re-write with a really fantastic writer that fans of your site will enjoy that’s coming aboard, but I can’t quite announce it yet.
I think that the Vertigo properties are a bit more quirky and off-center than kind of the mainstream superhero stuff at Warners. But I understand the decision because we’re not having to fight for release dates with the Vertigo stuff like we would have been having to do over at Warner Bros. But I feel confident that film will go into production hopefully next year.
For about as long as there has been talk of a Sandman film, there has been debate in comics fandom as to whether there should even be a Sandman. And granted, some of the script drafts from previous attempts have been strong arguments in themselves that it would be a bad idea to try and bring the series to the big screen. But just because someone got an attempt wrong does not necessarily mean that there is no right way to do something. And there’s nothing to say that Goyer, Gordon-Levitt and this mystery screenwriter are not on the right track with their take on the material.
I understand that comic book-based movies are a big priority at all the studios right now. I would like to see well done Sandman film or series of films adapting the entire multi-volume series, if only to show that not all comic properties can be reduced down to superhero slug fests. Sure we have already had films like Ghost World, American Splendor and Road To Perdition to prove that, but a few more examples wouldn’t hurt.