Joseph Gordon-Levitt Says ‘Sandman’ is Still Coming Along Nicely, Just Slowly

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Sandman
Photo: DC Comics

Now it’s time to talk about the DC Comics movie everyone seems to have forgotten about, Sandman. Way back in December 2013, it was announced Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Inception, Looper) was going to produce an adaption of DC Comic’s “Sandman.” Not much info was given at the time, but it was rumored he may not only direct, but star as the lead character Morpheus. News about the movie stopped flowing shortly after the announcement. In August 2014, we got our first update that the movie was still going on, but not much else was said. Now, a-year-and-a-half after the first announcement, we finally get a decent update.

In an interview with MTV, Gordon-Levitt talks a little about the film, saying, “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…’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.”

It comes as no surprise, due to the source material, that Neil Gaiman‘s “Sandman” comic series is difficult to adapt for the screen. The series follows the story of Dream, also known as Morpheus, the ruler of dreams and part of a group called the Endless. Like most comic series, it’s difficult to cut down 75 chapters into a two hour movie, especially a series that’s not as simple as a costumed hero beating up bad guys. “Preacher” is another series that stalled quite a bit during its development process for that exact same reason. Now, “Preacher” is being developed as a TV series on AMC, which works better for the property. It remains to be seen if Warner Bros. will successfully translate “Sandman” to a two hour film.

Gordon-Levitt also spoke more about the type of film we can expect with Sandman. He says, “Big spectacular action movies are generally about crime fighters fighting crime and blowing shit up. 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 any punching.’ 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 clichés.”

I can see why Warner Bros. is taking their time with this film. Not only is it based on a beloved comic series, but it’s one of the most difficult to translate to live-action. It’s going to be a hard sell for the casual movie-goer. I seriously doubt this would even be this close to a reality if it wasn’t for the star power of Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Even with him attached, I’m not sure it will come to pass. They are saying all the right things, but comic fans have gone down this road before with properties. Anyone remember the saga of “Y: The Last Man”?

No release date has been given, but at this point, we’d be lucky to see it before 2018. I won’t hold my breath.