The adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s legendary comic book series Sandman just hit a huge stumbling block, as producer and star-to-be Joseph Gordon-Levitt has dropped out of the film, an announcement he made via social media. Gordon-Levitt first announced his intentions to star and possibly direct the film back in 2013, but since then, progress on the film has been slow, leading many fans to wonder if the project was even still happening. Well, it might still happen, but it looks like if it does, it’ll happen without JGL.
The actor announced on Facebook Saturday that he and New Line, the division of Warner Bros. where the project was being set up, “just don’t see eye to eye on what makes Sandman special, and what a film adaptation could/should be. So unfortunately, I decided to remove myself from the project. I wish nothing but the best for the team moving forward.” (You can read Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s entire statement on his Facebook wall).
Despite his leaving the project, Sandman is supposedly still in development at New Line, who recently brought on board veteran horror screenwriter Eric Heisserer — who wrote the recent remakes of A Nightmare on Elm Street and The Thing — to write a new version of the script. The fact that New Line hired a horror writer shows they view Sandman as a horror property, and although there are horror elements to it, it is so much more than that. I could see why Gordon-Levitt walked if the studio feels the need to put the property into a narrow, easily explained genre.
While the Sandman movie still might move forward, it’s more likely that now it has fallen into limbo without its champion and star behind it. Based on comments Neil Gaiman has made in the past about older Sandman scripts from the studio, which sounded truly awful, maybe it’s all for the best if the movie just doesn’t move forward. Like Preacher and Y: The Last Man, it should probably really just be a cable series anyway.
What do you think of JGL leaving the project? Do you still think it’ll get made, or should a Sandman movie remain just a dream? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
IMAGE: DC Comics/Vertigo