With reporting by Josh Horowitz
“The Sandman” is still on his way, kids, but don’t be frightened. Because this is definitely not a nightmare scenario. Quite the opposite.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt, the actor-turned-producer (and possibly director) who’s helping to craft the adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s epic comic series, has given us some sweet dreams indeed about what he’s putting together right now.
JGL hit up Spike TV’s Guys Choice Awards in Culver City, California last night (June 6) — in part to dole out the Brass Balls award to Sir Ben Kingsley — and updated us on the status of the project, based on the DC and Vertigo Comics publications.
“It’s really good, man. It’s slow but steady,” he told MTV News’ Josh Horowitz. “It’s a really complicated adaptation because those comics, they’re brilliant. But they’re not written as a whole. It’s not like ‘Watchmen,’ which is a graphic novel that has a beginning, middle, and end. ‘Sandman’ was written over the course of whatever — I forget exactly, six or seven years. One at a time. One little 20-page issue at a time. And to try to take that and make it into something that’s a feature film — a movie that has a beginning, middle, and end — is complicated.”
Complicated though it might be, JoGo has a distinct vision for the story — which he’s working on in collaboration with David Goyer and Warner Bros., with the help and authorial authority of Neil Gaiman himself — and it’s a whole lot different than some of the other big comic adaptations that have been blasting through the box office over the last few years.
“Big spectacular action movies are generally about crime fighters fighting crime and blowing sh-t up. This has nothing to do with that,” he explained. “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 cliches,” Gordon-Levitt added. “So, that’s why it’s taking a lot time to write, but it’s going to be really good.”
Now we can officially rest easy knowing this is in good hands (that won’t be punching any faces unnecessarily).