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.
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“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.”