Joseph Gordon-Levitt Drops Out of ‘The Sandman’

Joseph Gordon-Levitt Drops Out of 'Sandman'
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UPDATED: Joseph Gordon-Levitt has ditched his “Sandman” project at New Line due to disagreement with the studio.

The announcement came a day after New Line confirmed that “The Conjuring 2” writer Eric Heisserer had come on board. “The Sandman” had been set up at Warner Bros. in 2013 with Gordon-Levitt coming aboard to produce with “The Dark Knight” screenwriter David Goyer for an adaptation of the DC Comics title.

Gordon-Levitt said Saturday that the disagrements emerged after Warner subsidiary New Line took over the project.

He posted the statement on his Facebook page Saturday:

“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,” Gordon-Levitt wrote. “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.”

Gaiman responded to the news later on Saturday, writing on Twitter, “For the record, my respect for [Joseph Gordon-Levitt], is undiminished. Getting to know him was the best bit of the last round. He’s special.”

Gordon-Levitt responded by thanking Gaiman, writing, “I sincerely hope we find another way to collaborate sooner than later.”

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  1. The last thing I want to see the Sandman become is an action adventure film…..

    • Jack Wild says:

      MITCH? RAINDOG MITCH? LOL… fancy meeting you here. And concurred, fully. This is sad news. I had heard it was a pressure from the studios already before the transfer to New Line even, with Gaiman and Gordon-Levitt holding firm that at no point would the Dream King be engaging in any sort of fisticuffs or like shenanigans. Sad that this was the killing factor, if it was. Just absurd.

  2. The studio want something they could put on the side of a Mac Donald’s Cup….

  3. bsbarnes says:

    Joseph Gordon-Levitt leaving the SANDMAN movie is a blow, even though he never seemed to find the thread that would have pulled the entire project together. Gordon-Levitt’s professionalism shines in his Facebook posting, where he thanks all the right people, and leaves the door open to work with Warner Bros. in the future, which I eagerly hope will be the case. I believe that Season Of Mists is the best story arc to bring SANDMAN to the big screen, as it is reasonably self-contained, includes most of the big players in the Dreaming academy, and has Morpheus acting proactively (which is not his usual style)!

    • Malcolm says:

      Or a TV mini/maxi-series rather than a film.

      Moreover, if they could find an agreeable actor, producing a “Tales From the Crypt”/Twilight Zone show hosted/bookended by Dream – Sandman Presents – would surely be excellent. Begin by adapting the interludes from the comics, and then hopefully move on through Gaiman’s short stories and onwards after that.

  4. GG says:

    all this Sandman talk is making me sleepy.

  5. taffy says:

    Over-rated with a very uneven taste in scripts. For every good movie he does, he does five turds.

  6. Jpe says:

    Considering how long he has been working on this project, I consider Joseph gordon-levitt’s commitment to be nearly on a par with Ryan Reynolds shepherding of Deadpool. We have already seen how New Line has handled movies like Spawn. The people that have been involved with the Sandman project have been top notch.
    New Line should be grateful for their development and work on the character. Instead, I guess they are shooting for a lowest common denominator take. This news is an extremely big disappointment and I am probably less inclined to look forward to this movie then I was previously.

  7. Willy T Ribbs says:

    Wow… This guy is a big comics fan and always a stand up guy. They must have turn that movie into a piece of junk. Nothing more to say. I’m not going to see it.

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