BREAKING: ‘Sandman’ Gains Screenwriter, Loses Star/Director Joseph Gordon-Levitt

By March 5, 2016

The news works in mysterious ways, friends. I was literally in the middle of writing a story about how Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s upcoming adaptation of Neil Gaman’s seminal comic Sandman had found its screenwriter in Eric Heisserer. Had a link to the original story from The Hollywood Reporter and everything (see?). I was just about to mention that his previous work includes the remakes of A Nightmare on Elm Street and The Thing when I saw a tweet from the film’s star and director, Joseph Gordon-Levitt. And, well, that tweet kinda changed everything. A lot. JGL gave fans an update on the project and, well, I’ll just let him tell you.

From his Facebook:


So, as you might know if you like to follow these sorts of things, a while back, David Goyer and I made a producing deal with Warner Brothers to develop a movie adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s SANDMAN. Neil himself came on as an executive producer, we hired the excellent screenwriter, Jack Thorne, and we started in on the ambitious task of adapting one of the most beloved and boundary-pushing titles in the world of comics. I was pleased with the progress we were making, even though we still had quite a ways to go.

Recently, as you also might know if you like to follow these sorts of things, the sorta “ownership” (for lack of a better term) of the Sandman material changed hands when Warner Brothers shifted the entire catalogue of Vertigo comics (an imprint of DC) to their subsidiary, New Line. And a few months ago, I came to realize that the folks at New Line and I 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.

I’d like to thank all the great people I’ve had the opportunity to work with on this one. I’ve had a blast with and learned a ton from David and Jack. Niija Kuykendall, Greg Silverman, and everyone at Warner Brothers have been fantastic, as have Geoff Johns and everyone at DC. And it’s been a particular privilege as well as a rocking good time getting to know Mr. Gaiman, whose generous insights and masterful work have certainly convinced me that the Lord of Dreams and the Prince of Stories are one and the same Endless pattern.

Well…that’s unfortunate.

Obviously, the big question here: where does this leave Sandman? Without a star and director, that’s where. No doubt the powers-that-be at New Line are scrambling to find a replacement (replacements?), but as it stands now we’re basically back to square one. We can assume New Line will still do whatever they can to get this thing made (with Eric Heisserer as screenwriter!), but obviously this is a damn-near crippling blow.

I guess the good news here is that this film project just became A LOT more interesting. How’s that for a silver lining?

Make sure to keep checking back for updates – right here on GeekNation.

Joe Ruggirello
Joe is a writer, retired comedian, and giant nerd. He's particularly fond of comic books, pro wrestling, and Godzilla. Oh, and that Star Wars thing. You can yell at him on Twitter @JoeRu23.
  • David Johnson

    & You Thought Telling THIS Story Was Going To Be EASY!!!!!!