Joseph Gordon-Levitt leaves Sandman film adaptation over creative differences

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Feb 12, 2020, 5:50 PM EST (Updated)

Just when it looked like things had finally gotten on track for Neil Gaiman’s Sandman to finally reach the big screen, the troubled production goes and loses its likely star and director. Will this movie ever get made?

The long-gestating project received a major kick in the pants several months ago, when Joseph Gordon-Levitt signed on to develop (and possibly star/direct) a Sandman film. David Goyer (The Dark Knight) and Gaiman himself joined Gordon-Levitt, and it seemed like the project was finally on the fast track. But the recent development shift from the studio proper over to New Line (a Warner Bros. subsidiary) has apparently come with some changes to the creative direction. Uh-oh.

So Gordon-Levitt has decided to walk, and the studio has hired horror sequel-meister Eric Heisserer (Final Destination 5, The Conjuring 2) to tackle the script. Originally, Gordon-Levitt had been developing his working script with Goyer and Gaiman, though it sounds like that version is being either scrapped or heavily reworked.

Here is Gordon-Levitt’s official announcement:

Considering the passion everyone involved seemed to have for the project, it’s a shame to see the development deal with Gordon-Levitt come to such an abrupt end. With comic-book movies becoming a bigger and bigger part of the studio puzzle, it sounds like New Line has its own plans for the Vertigo line — and the creative directions didn’t match up. Which, considering Gaiman had largely signed off on the version that is seemingly being scrapped, that’s kind of a red flag.

What do you think of the shakeup? Will this movie ever be made?

(Via Joseph Gordon-Levitt)

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