Warner Bros.-owned DC Comics’ imprint Vertigo is moving its titles from that studio to New Line, according to a Deadline report. With WB wrapped up making Justice League-related tentpoles like next year’s Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, it makes sense to shuffle potential projects that don’t fit under that blockbuster banner off somewhere they can be more attentively developed and eventually greenlit.
Vertigo’s titles are generally considered more “niche” and edgier than the main DC Comics titles, which revolve around Superman, Batman, Aquaman, Wonder Woman and other more mainstream characters. Most of the imprint’s titles are actually in various stages of development for the small screen – Constantine made it through one season on NBC before getting canceled, iZombie has been renewed for a second season on The CW, and AMC is prepping a Preacher adaptation. As such, the title that would most likely launch a big-screen partnership between Vertigo and New Line would be The Sandman.
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Joseph Gordon-Levitt is slowly but surely chipping away at tweaking an adaptation of the Neil Gaiman comic, working with the creator to strike the right tone. Jack Thorne wrote a script. It’s been in the works for a long, long while, with Gordon-Levitt keenly interested in also directing and starring. Sandman is one of Vertigo’s more popular titles, so it would make a lot of sense for New Line to prioritize getting it into theaters before anything else.
Other Vertigo titles include Lucifer (coming to Fox as a series in the 2015-16 season), Black Orchid, Madame Xanadu, Swamp Thing, Doom Patrol, The Human Target (once also a Fox series) and Y: The Last Man.
The move to New Line is expected to take effect any day now, though it’s unclear whether anyone is waiting on the shift to get to work on a particular adaptation.