Ex-stuntman and John Wick director Chad Stahelski has been tapped to direct a film adaptation of Sandman Slim, the much-acclaimed fantasy book series by bestselling author Richard Kadrey. Among the many projects that the action-focused filmmaker has been linked to, this could well see him launching another franchise based around a revenge-driven character, but with the added spicy ingredient of supernatural violence.
Stahelski first made his mark as a stunt performer and coordinator in the likes of The Matrix and The Crow. But it was his work as co-director on John Wick, along with David Leitch (Deadpool 2), that confirmed his talent for shooting intense action sequences with real flair and innovation. This ensured his solo directing role for John Wick: Chapter Two and the same position for the upcoming John Wick: Chapter Three. In last two years, he has also been attached to a reboot of the cult film Highlander, as well as a film adaptation of the comic Kill or Be Killed.
Now Deadline is reporting that Stahelski has been picked to helm Sandman Slim, which will likely spin into a franchise if the first film is successful. The first Sandman Slim novel was published by Kadrey in 2009, and went on to be listed as one of the Best Paranormal Fantasy Novels of the Last Decade by Barnes and Noble. So far the series includes nine novels, with the most recent one having been published in June 2017 and the tenth one due later this year. Studio 8 acquired the rights for the books in 2016, and writer Kerry Williamson (What Happened to Monday) is understood to be working on the screenplay for the film.
The story itself revolves around the character of James 'Sandman Slim' Stark. The tough-talking and hard-punching Stark was banished to Hell by magic. But 11 years later, and after fighting against demons non-stop, he escapes and becomes a supernatural vigilante determined to get revenge for his murdered lover. And so he wanders the mean streets of Los Angeles encountering vampires and other creatures in his quest.
For those unfamiliar with the material, the main concept feels very relatable to John Wick's violent universe, but has very dark diabolic elements, a twisted sense of humor, and grand touches of classic horror in the flavor of H.P. Lovecraft. In theory, Stahelski is a very solid choice for the director, and it will be interesting to see how he will deal with the more fantastical elements of the novel. Despite his current workload, hopefully this is one project that we hear much more about in the near future.
There is no scheduled release date for Sandman Slim yet. We'll bring you further updates as we get them.