It may have been among the first comic book adaptations planned by Warner Bros. after Man of Steel, but in the recent onslaught of the studio's movie schedule, The Sandman was noticeably absent. Series creator Neil Gaiman immediately explained why, citing Sandman's existence as a Vertigo Comics property, which is a different beast altogether. Now, those handling the film have offered even more assurances.
Despite failed attempts to adapt the comic series in the past, producer David S. Goyer won many skeptics to his side when word of the project first broke with Joseph Gordon-Levitt already attached to star. Later reports claimed that the actor might also handle directing duties after his successful feature debut Don Jon, but Gordon-Levitt has held off confirming or denying.
In an interview with Deadline concerning a number of projects Goyer currently has in the works (from NBC's Constantine to Vertigo adaptation FBP: Federal Bureau of Physics), the writer/producer/director offered an update for fans, and another confirmation that Sandman is still moving forward - with its creator on board:
"I hesitate to definitively say when it might go before the cameras, but the one thing different between other iterations and ours is that Neil Gaiman has been in the room with us and is a vital part of the team... We have a draft Warners is very happy with and we’re moving forward, knock on wood."
Joseph Gordon-Levitt - whom Deadline also claims will, in fact, both direct the film and star - was asked about the current status of the film during a recent 'Ask Me Anything' on reddit, where he offered similarly promising details:
"Been doing a lot of work with David Goyer and Jack Thorne, working on the screenplay. We've been doing our meetings at the DC office, which is a frickin rad place to work. Also just had a great conversation last week with David and Mr. Gaiman. Neil has been extremely big hearted with me, and he's the one I want to please most."
The pieces are apparently falling into place for a promising Sandman adaptation, with Goyer no stranger to the medium or studio, Gordon-Levitt already having described his vision for the film, Jack Thorne handling script duties, and Neil Gaiman himself acting as executive producer.
The comments made by Gordon-Levitt also imply he's more likely to direct then star, taking responsibility for doing the source material justice before it even leaves the writers room. Anyone familiar with Gaiman's original comic series knows the challenges in adapting it to a traditional feature film, so the lengthy development process is far from worrying - in fact, it may be a strong sign.
What do you Sandman fans think of the comments from Goyer and Gordon-Levitt? Is this talent being assembled with Gaiman's input the course you would hope to see a film take, or do concerns persist?
We’ll keep you posted as news on any adaptation of The Sandman arrives.
Follow Andrew on Twitter @andrew_dyce.