Sandman Movie Loses Its Biggest Star
"I decided to remove myself from the project."
Sandman is one of the most acclaimed comic books of all time, and a movie adaptation has been in development for many years. It looked as if the film version of Neil Gaiman's fantasy series was a step closer to happening when Dark Knight Rises star Joseph Gordon-Levitt came on board as a producer and potential star last year. However, the actor has now confirmed that he has left the project, citing a difference in approach with the studio.
Sandman is one of the titles published by DC's Vertigo imprint. Last year parent company Warner made the decision to move the film development of Vertigo properties over to its subsidiary New Line Cinema, something that Gordon-Levitt noted in the statement he made on Tumblr:
"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."
Gaiman himself took to Twitter to comment on Gordon-Levitt's departure, and on the fact that he had little involvement with the movie adaptation:
And, for the record, my respect for @hitRECordJoe, is undiminished. Getting to know him was the best bit of the last round. He's special.— Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself) March 5, 2016
Reminder for the curious: I don't own SANDMAN. @DCComics does. I don't choose who writes scripts, the director, producer or cast.— Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself) March 6, 2016
For me, what's important is the 2,500 pages of SANDMAN, not a movie that may or may not ever happen. https://t.co/6NZe47nvJ4— Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself) March 6, 2016
In October last year, co-producer David Goyer spoke to Collider about the decision to move the Vertigo titles to New Line. "I think that the Vertigo properties are a bit more quirky and off-center than kind of the mainstream superhero stuff at Warners," he said. "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."
The original run of Sandman lasted for 75 issues, plus one special, between 1989 and 1996. Gaiman has returned to the title a number of times since, including a novella and a six-part prequel series. The comic has won over 26 prestigious Eisner Awards, and by the end of its run was DC's most popular title, outselling the likes Batman and Superman.
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