David Goyer and Joseph Gordon-Levitt must have enjoyed working together on Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises, because the in-demand duo is looking to launch a comic book franchise together. It was announced some time ago that Gordon-Levitt and Goyer were attached to The Sandman, a DC/Vertigo Comics property that Warner Bros was looking to adapt for the screen. The Rises duo are presently signed on as producers, but Goyer's pitch for the story is what got the ball rolling and the hope is that Gordon-Levitt will star-in and direct the film- so their ties to the project run deep. Deadline is reporting that they've now found the man they want to script to the picture: Jack Thorne.
If the name doesn't ring a bell, it's because Thorne doesn't have too loud of a resumé. The Brit has spent most of his time writing for television over in the UK, where his series' have garnered considerable critical acclaim. This will be his first major studio picture, and there's more than a little pressure for him to produce something great because Warner Bros is hoping to launch a Sandman franchise with this film.
This Sandman isn't to be confused with...well, all the other Sandmen. DC owns Vertigo and, in their history, has had several incarnations of the character with varying origins and mythologies- many of which share no connection whatsoever with each other. And Marvel has their own, too- he's one of Spider-Man's rogues.
The WB film will center around that last one, the one created by Neil Gaiman that was first published in 1989. The horror/fantasy tells the tale of Morpheus, the ruler of dreams, who escapes 70 years of imprisonment, gets revenge, and then seeks to rebuild his kingdom while adjusting to a new, modern setting. Warner Bros has been said to have been looking for a good way to crack the story and turn it into a franchise for quite some time, and it looks like Goyer's pitch was what finally did it. That, or just his name and association with the Nolan Batman films were enough for the WB to give him a green light.
Up until now, Gordon-Levitt's only other major directing credit is the critically-acclaimed indie Don Jon. If he does sign on to helm The Sandman, it would be a considerable leap for the ambitious rising star. His Hollywood clout has grown immeasurably in the last four years, and he'd no doubt become one of Tinsel Town's golden boys if he could direct a successful major studio blockbuster.
In August, we'll get to see Gordon-Levitt in another adaptation of a seminal comic book when he appears in Robert Rodriguez's Sin City: A Dame To Kill For. Rodriguez spoke about that film yesterday.
No word yet on when we should expect to see The Sandman, but we'll keep you posted as the project continues to come together.
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