The Sandman movie, based on Neil Gaiman’s mythical comic series for DC‘s adult imprint Vertigo, has been stuck in development hell for many, many years. Recently, it seemed like it was finally going places – as Joseph Gordon-Levitt was attached to produce, and potentially direct and star. Unfortunately, he left the project due to creative differences with the studio (much like The Flash‘s Rick Famuyiwa). Now The Sandman has received another blow, as its screenwriter has elected not to continue writing the script.
Eric Heisserer – known for writing this year’s Light’s Out and Arrival – spoke to IO9 about his reasons for bowing out of the movie. Here’s what he said:
“I had many conversations with Neil [Gaiman] on this, and I did a lot of work on the feature and came to the conclusion that the best version of this property exists as an HBO series or limited series, not as a feature film, not even as a trilogy. The structure of the feature film really doesn’t mesh with this. So I went back and said here’s the work that I’ve done. This isn’t where it should be. It needs to go to TV. So I talked myself out of a job!”
Anyone who is familiar with the source material can concur with the writer’s conclusion that Sandman would be difficult to adapt to the big screen. The series was typified by its multi-layered storytelling that slowly unfolded over its 75 issue run (as well as a recent prequel series). As such, Heisserer might be right that it would be a better fit for the serialized nature of TV. Still, the comics’ big imagination and vibrant visuals could be hard to manage on a small screen budget.
With this latest set-back, it seems likely that The Sandman movie will remain a dream for the time being.
Image via Vertigo/DC Comics.