Well, this is rather surprising. Just yesterday it looked like all was good with New Line’s upcoming adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s Sandman, as the studio had snagged a writer. Now, however, the project has hit a serious roadblock: star/director Joseph Gordon-Levitt has decided to depart.
In a lengthy post on his Facebook page, the actor explained that everything was going fine until Sandman moved from Warner Bros. to New Line. When that happened, creative differences started to arise snd Gordon-Levitt realized that his vision for the adaptation wasn’t matching up with what the studio had in mind.
While it’s certainly a shame that this had to happen, you can’t really blame him. Sandman is a very ambitious and unique project, and one that isn’t very easy to adapt for the big screen in the first place. In other words, it’s not the kind of film you want to make unless you and the studio are on the same page.
I guess the silver lining here is that the adaptation is still moving forward – now we’ll just have to wait and see who the studio finds to replace Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
We’ll keep you posted as soon as we hear anything more, but in the meantime, take a look at the actor’s full statement below and let us know in the comments section who you’d like to see star in/direct 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.