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Monday, March 7, 2016

Joseph Gordon-Levitt Leaves Sandman

For fans of DC/Vertigo's Sandman, here's some unpleasant news. Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who was developing and championing a film adaptation of the beloved books, took to his Facebook page and announce that he will no longer be part of the production of "Sandman". [hit the jump to continue]

On his page, he said the following:
"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."

Writer Neil Gaiman, creator or the SANDMAN graphic novels also took to twitter to make clear how he feels about the situation. Gaiman says getting a Sandman film made is of little importance to him. He's happy with the books, so a film isn't really a priority. It should also be pointed out that Gaiman is not actually very much involved in the film. He informs a fan that he doesn't own the rights to the character, and is therefore more on the sidelines when it comes to a SANDMAN movie stating:
"Reminder for the curious: I don't own SANDMAN. @DCComics does. I don't choose who writes scripts, the director, producer or cast."
In his farewell announcement, Gordon-Levitt expressed his admiration for Gaiman and that he'd still want to collaborate with the writer on something else in the future. Gaiman replies:
"I very much hope so. I would love to work with (Gordon-Levitt) some more. He's smart, honest & really nice. And, for the record, my respect for (JGL) is undiminished. Getting to know him was the best bit of the last round. He's special.
So where does this leave Sandman? Well, it's hard to say. Working with Goyer, JGL had a hard enough time getting things going as it is, so there's a good chance we may not hear from this film for a while. But who knows? With him moving on, perhaps they can move forward in a different direction that will expedite the creation of the film.

To the unfamiliar, the Sandman is comic book series written by Neil Gaiman and published by DC Comics imprint Vertigo. It tells the story of Dream of the Endless, who rules over the world of dreams. The main character of The Sandman is Dream, also known as Morpheus and other names, who is one of the seven Endless. The other Endless are Destiny, Death, Desire, Despair, Delirium, who was once Delight, and Destruction, who turned his back on his duties. The series is famous for Gaiman's trademark use of anthropomorphic personification of various metaphysical entities, while also blending mythology and history in its horror setting within the DC Universe. The Sandman is a story about stories and how Morpheus, the Lord of Dreams, is captured and subsequently learns that sometimes change is inevitable. Critically acclaimed, The Sandman was one of the first few graphic novels ever to be on the New York Times Best Seller list, along with Maus, Watchmen and The Dark Knight Returns.

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