Joseph Gordon-Levitt Leaves Sandman Film Project

Posted by at 1:04 am on March 7, 2016

Joseph-Gordon-Levitt headJoseph Gordon-Levitt posted an update to his Facebook page that he has left the adaptation of Neil Gaiman‘s beloved comic series Sandman, citing creative difference with the studio. But the actor has also set up another project that he’s producing and may also star in at Amazon.

Here’s the post detailing Joseph Gordon-Levitt leaving Sandman from 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.

Gordon-Levitt first boarded the project back in 2013 with David Goyer producing and Jack Thorne writing the script. The last update from the actor actually came the day after Vertigo comic book titles went over to New Line, but in the months since that announcement last June, it appears development on the project has gone south. That’s really a bummer, because Gordon-Levitt has been extremely passionate about the project. At one time he said:

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. So that’s why it’s taking a lot of time to write, but it’s going to be really good.

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