Neil Gaiman’s supernatural fantasy comic The Sandman has been the topic of adaptation discussions for years, leaving many fans wondering if a live-action movie would ever see the light of day. Last October, things started to look up when Warner Bros. hooked Joseph Gordon-Levitt, David S. Goyer and Gaiman himself to produce a movie. And since then, we’ve received scant updates on its progress – until now.
During this weekend’s Spike’s Guy’s Choice Awards, Gordon-Levitt spoke with MTV on the development process.“It’s really good, man. It’s slow but steady. It’s a really complicated adaptation because those comics, they’re brilliant. But they’re not written as a whole. It’s not like Watchmen, which is a graphic novel that has a beginning, middle, and end.
“Sandman was written over the course of whatever — I forget exactly, six or seven years. One at a time. One little 20-page issue at a time. And to try to take that and make it into something that’s a feature film — a movie that has a beginning, middle, and end — is complicated. I’m feeling really good about it, but it is a process, so please be patient.”
The sprawling story focuses on Dream – aka Morpheus – the ruler of dreams, who, after being imprisoned for 70 years has to fight to reclaim his kingdom. The comic ran for 75 issues from 1989 to 1996. Since its final issue, the studio has been pushing to get it up on the big screen. A blend of varying mythologies, it’s spawned a huge fanbase who should be delighted at the team’s stylistic approach:
“Big spectacular action movies are generally about crime fighters fighting crime and blowing sh-t up,” Gordon-Levitt goes on to say. “This has nothing to do with that and it was actually one of the things that Neil Gaiman said to me, he said ‘Don’t have him punch anybody.’ Because he never does. If you read the comics, Morpheus doesn’t punch anybody. That’s not what he does. It’s going to be like a grand spectacular action film, but that relies on none of those same old ordinary cliches. So, that’s why it’s taking a lot time to write, but it’s going to be really good.”