Rumor Patrol: David S. Goyer’s ‘Sandman’ Movie to Star Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Published 1 year ago by

Sandman Rumor David Goyer Rumor Patrol: David S. Goyers Sandman Movie to Star Joseph Gordon Levitt

We knew it wouldn’t take long for screenwriter David S. Goyer’s strengthening relationship with Warner Bros. to yield results, and the latest rumor is a potential knockout. It seems that the screenwriter for Batman vs. Superman isn’t content with just DC Comics’ biggest superheroes, as he’s currently pitching a big screen take on Neil Gaiman’s legendary graphic novel, The Sandman.

If that weren’t enough to get comic book fans stirring, the same rumor claims that Joseph Gordon-Levitt is also involved, presumably intended to star.

The report comes courtesy of BadassDigest, who seem to have an inside track on rumors concerning comics published under DC’s Vertigo imprint, as evidence of a Preacher series from Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg continues to mount.

According to their sources, the project is in extremely early stages, with Goyer simply pitching his take on the character to WB executives (it’s unclear if Gaiman himself has even been contacted). However, Geoff Johns (DC’s Chief Creative Officer, and general overseer of the company’s characters) is apparently putting his support behind the writer’s approach.

But without a doubt, it’s the claim that Joseph Gordon-Levitt is involved in the talks that is sure to get tongues wagging.

Joseph Gordon Levitt Sandman Rumor Rumor Patrol: David S. Goyers Sandman Movie to Star Joseph Gordon Levitt

It’s presumed that Gordon-Levitt is intending to play the titular god of dreams, but there’s no explicit evidence that his role would be in front of the camera – that’s merely a logical assumption. And given the actor’s track record, ‘Dream’ seems to be a fitting role.

When Joseph Gordon-Levitt recently confirmed that he was talking superheroes with Marvel – despite playing a pivotal role in Christopher Nolan’s end to the Dark Knight Trilogy – it seemed that Warner Bros. and DC Comics had missed their chance to build a new comic book-based film franchise around the actor/writer/director’s rising star. There would be no bigger headline than the actor attaching his name to one of the most widely-praised pieces of graphic literature in the last century, and cementing his ties with DC and Warner Bros.

This rumor doesn’t necessarily rule out the possibility of Gordon-Levitt lending his talents to either Ant-Man or Dr. Strange over at Marvel, since it’s not the first time word of an adaptation of The Sandman has surfaced. DC has made no secret of their desire to adapt the project in one form or another, despite a TV series failing to get off the ground. Still, the desire is widespread, with The Wolverine director James Mangold naming the graphic novel as one comic he’d love to tackle.

We don’t need to make a case as to why The Sandman is a wise series to adapt; beginning with the the Lord of Dream’s escape after decades of imprisonment, the story delves into a fantastic and surreal realm that not only made Vertigo one of the most well-respected names in comics, but proved that comic books could contain truly accomplished writing.

DC Entertaiment Wants Sandman Fables and Aquaman Movies Rumor Patrol: David S. Goyers Sandman Movie to Star Joseph Gordon Levitt

And all things considered, Warner Bros. seems the best studio (out of the current comic book-crazed studios) to adapt the series. However Man of Steel may have been received by comic fans and moviegoers, Goyer proved that he can take a comic book story seriously. And if Geoff Johns is putting his weight behind the writer’s take on one of DC’s most revered titles, we’d give him the benefit of the doubt.

For the time being, we’d recommend cautious optimism on the part of fans. Goyer is certainly gaining influence with Warner Bros., meaning his interest – backed by DC’s highest-ranking executives – is a massive step in the right direction. And although the project is still a long way from completion, an actor like Joseph Gordon-Levitt showing interest could help tip the scales. If that’s the case, Marvel might need to change their plans. Assuming these rumors are true, of course.

What do you think of the likelihood that Goyer will succeed where others have failed? Could WB’s recent interest in adapting as many properties as possible give their Vertigo titles more time in the spotlight? And if so, could a better actor than JGL ever be considered? Share your thoughts in the comments.


We’ll keep you posted as news on any adaptation of The Sandman arrives.

Follow Andrew on Twitter @andrew_dyce.

Source: BadassDigest

Follow Andrew Dyce on Twitter @andrew_dyce
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  1. Down! I’d love to see this, especially if Levitt is starring in it. Though, while I like Goyer as a writer, he’s being attached to quite a lot of projects. Man of Steel, Batman Vs. Superman, Da Vinci’s Demons, Constantine and now this? I’m worried he’s spreading himself too thin.

      • Yeah I agree with Kryptonic. The Sandman has been around for decades and is most likely something Goyer read when it first came out. I’m sure he’s been thinking about this conceptually for a very long time. I know I have lol. I really hope that Neil Gaiman is going to be heavily involved and I’d love to Del Torro do visual effects for this film.

        • Definitely agree that Neil Gaiman should be involved.

          But do you think Del Toro should simply produce the visual effects?

          Seems to me he’d be the perfect choice to direct.

          • He would do a great job as director. I just meant that at the very least he should do the visual effects.

    • I hate to burst any bubbles here, but I seem to remember that Gaiman has some sort of contractual control over the rights to the Sandman property, which allows him to say yes or no to it being adapted into other media forms. In fact, I distinctly remember him saying in an interview a number of years ago that he would never allow the property to made into a movie unless he was comfortable with the approach being taken.

  2. I like the sound of it.

  3. No. I don’t want this to happen if Goyer is writing. He’s not good enough. I prefer Gaiman to write this himself. Also, I think the material is better suited for an HBO TV series rather than a movie. It’s what Gaiman wants to anyways.

    Another thing: I think JGL is better suited for the role of Daniel rather than Morpheus. For Morpheus, I’d go with Gaiman’s choice, Cumberbatch. The voice, the face, the talent…he’s perfect.

    • Agreed, short of Goyer just transcribing the books as screenplays for a TV series, he does not have the finesse for this project.

  4. A gorgeous series of graphic novels these are (‘The Doll’s House’ being my favourite). It would almost be worth it to see how Delirium looks and sounds onscreen. But, no, like ‘Watchmen’, this should never be put to film. Some materials lend themselves to adaptation (‘Monster’ for example, which is coming to HBO). Some do not. This does not.

    I ask thee nicely then to not and never attempt to do so. Ta.

    • why all the vitriol for Watchmen on this site? As someone who never read the graphic novels it was based on I felt it was really well done. One of my favorite cbm along with Ironman and The Avengers:)

    • I love the Watchmen movie. But it has to be the 4 hour long ultimate director’s cut.

  5. is Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s name gonna come up in every comic book movie? (The Sandman, Ant-Man, Dr. Strange, Batman vs. Superman..)

    just cast him as Robin/Nightwing in Batman vs. Superman or Hank Pym in Ant-Man

  6. The first seven chapter can be made into one movie, maybe with references to Morpheus’s histories and some cameos. As long as it’s done right and received Gaiman’s approval, I see no reason to oppose this.

    • Eight…the first EIGHT chapters (or, at least, the first eight issues of the series).

      I could see Gordon-Levitt doing a great job in the role of Dream, but I agree that Cumberbatch pretty much looks like the human incarnation of Morpheus and could easily and wonderfully make the role work in live-action. I can appreciate Goyer’s ability and love of the material, but I DO hope he works with Gaiman to produce a quality piece.

      The Endless deserve no less…

  7. >proved that comic books could contain truly accomplished writing.

    And that’s why it should be kept away from David Goyer. Seriously, the man’s a hack. Why does WB keep giving him work when they could get Neil Gaiman, Grant Morrison, or anybody who has a bloody clue, just by snapping their fingers?

    • Because David S Goyer is the one with an almost 300 million hit and not those guys.

      But seriously, I wonder the same question. I didn’t even feel like i was watching superman in MOS. Just some guy NAMED superman pummeling zod to smallville, and destroying satallites and drones.

      • I found Man of Steel with all of its flaws to actually establish Superman pretty damn well. I do agree Goyer has some weakness in his scripts sometimes- I consider him great in having ideas and approach most of the time but not always proving well with executing those said ideas- but I found he got the character of Superman perfectly.

        But then again with Superman being an icon, there is different interpretation. I just found the character brought to the screen in Man of Steel was the perfect marriage of the roots and origins of the character, his internal essence, and modern update.

        • Very well said bud.

        • Agree. Well said.

      • Agreed, I was very disappointed with Superman and, frankly, I found some it boring which I never expected going in. The action was good, no doubt, just the story left a lot to be desired. We didn’t need serious and grounded Superman for the real world. Superman of the comics and cartoons translated to the big screen was good enough imho.

  8. overrated actor..

  9. David S. Goyer is a great idea man who is slowly coming to his own. I still feel either a great director or another writer is necessary to execute his stories well to their full potential but he has vision.

    If these rumors are true, my question is WB/DC’s overall endgame is with Goyer. Obviously Goyer doesn’t have to be stuck only working on crafting a DC universe and would like to do other passion projects, but I imagine that for this early stage WB/DC may want more of a unified approach and pitch by Goyer and I am assuming Sandman is its own separate thing correct? Or is Sandman part of the larger DC universe?

    Goyer could easily come up with ideas and story treatments for a variety of projects but I would like to know he is not spreading his ideas thin and become mentally exhausted soon but as others said he could be capitalizing on a creative role. Hopefully we hear there is a team involved with Goyer in setting up DC universe and Sandman.

    JGL has brought some attention to himself the past couple of years as an actor and recently as a storyteller, perhaps he could be that other force.

    All of this is rumor but sounds interesting to say the least. I just hope plans with Goyer’s productivity is being capitalized well.

  10. Ethan Hawke
    Jonathon Young
    cillian murphy
    noomi rapace
    Paul Bettany
    the guy who plays spock
    the old guy who plays rorschach
    Sam Rockwell
    Ezra Miller
    Michael C Hall

    almost everybody can play Dream better than that guy

    • You realize Noomi Rapace is a woman and Dream is a man right? Perhaps it’s best if you leave the casting to professionals.

      • +1

      • hmmm … .

        Rapace does have the same kind of androgynous vibe that Tilda Swinton pulls off. after a second thought, that’s some inspired casting work!

        i’ll bet green money that Gaiman would absolutely love it. (JGL – not so much.)

        • I don’t really think she’s quite that androgynous. It would be an interesting take i suppose but I would absolutely not want to see a woman play Dream. She would be great for Desire; I’d love to see her play Desire actually.

    • still, she could be a better Morpheus than him, even michael fishburne (now I’m kidding)

      • Oh I’m not saying JGL would be a good Dream. He’s too short and doesn’t have the presence. My name on here is actually what Caliope refers to Dream as in the comics. I’m a huge Sandman fan and I don’t really think JGL can pull it off. If Keanu Reeves could be stoic and also bring depth and emotion to a character, I think he’d be good; he’s got the right look, but he wouldn’t be able to convey the subtlety and depth of Dreams emotions. He’s a very complicated character. His emotions run deeper than any of the other Endless yet he doesn’t outwardly show hardly any of it. To do him justice is going to be very difficult. I think if I were to cast the movie it’d be:
        Dream: Adrian Brody/James Franco(a bit young but he could act the part well)
        Death: Olivia Thirlby/Freya Tingley/Crystal Reed
        Desire: Noomi Rapace/Tilda Swinton
        Destiny: Liam Neeson/Charles Dance/Bill Nighy
        Despair: Kathy Bates but really actress could with a fat suit or MOCAP or something
        Delerium: Jodelle Ferland/Emily Browning/Evanna Lynch
        Destruction: Ray Stevenson/Rory McCann/Chris Hemmsworth
        Just some options. If Alan Tudyk put on Hemmsworth style muscle he’d be a great Destruction.

    • JGL’s great. Cillian Murphy and Benedict Cumberbatch are the only other actors I know of that I’d want to see in the role if it’s not going to be him. Sam Rockwell and Michael C. Hall are great but don’t have the right look and presence. And god no to Ethan Hawke and Ezra Miller.

  11. I’m all for Goyer doing the movie as long as Neil Gaiman is consulted on just about everything. We don’t want another Watchmen or V for Vendetta.

    • Actually (while I find a number of your above suggestions to be excellent), I would LOVE another “Watchmen” or “V for Vendetta”. I thought both films were great.

      • I enjoyed them as well. What I was getting at is that the creators of the graphic novels were not particularly pleased with the finished products especially the V for Vendetta movie which Alan Moore called “rubbish” after reading the screen play. Lots of people like these movies but only a handful of people who see the movie having not read the graphic novel would go back and read it. Because of this, and if the author is less an approving of the final product, I feel that their visions and messages do get the attention they deserve.

        • Fair enough.

  12. I don’t know about you but I’m getting tired of seeing Levitt acting on everything.

  13. Sandman puts me to sleep. No interest in this at all.

  14. Howard Stern would’ve been a better pick.

  15. If this does come into light , do not screw this up Goyer! I will Dislike you forever. Sandman is my favorite book series.

  16. For god’s sake… Someone must stop this moron!!!

  17. Man, I hope Goyer stays away from this. He is the worst kind of hack in Hollywood. Or did everybody forgot he destroyed Blade franchise and Snipes himself?

    • Goyer destroyed Snipes? I don’t recall his acceptance into the ranks of the Mafia…

      What ARE you talking about?

  18. I rather have this as a tv series on HBO. I know that they tried a couple of times to buy the right to adapt it from WB, same goes to Preacher which I think Garth Ennis did agreed on. Also, Goyer is so much better with someone who can hold his hand and so no like how it was with Batman Begins.

  19. Channel: HBO
    Director: Guillermo Del Toro
    Writer: David Goyer
    Creative Consultant: Neil Gaiman.
    And a good casting director.

  20. I am getting a little tired of hollywood thinking that Goyer is the only person capable of writing a DC script. It’s a bad idea all the way around and the last thing I want, as a huge sandman fan(i have tats of dream and death) is the kid from angels in the outfield playing Morpheus. I’m not too worried though, they’ve been “making” a Sandman movie for the last twenty years.

  21. if this happens, Darren Aronofsky would do it justice as director!

  22. Come on people, it has to be Cumberbatch!! He was born to play this role. No one else even comes close to the look, sound, gravitas and subtle mirth that makes Dream what he is.