Anyone following the film adaptation of Neil Gaiman's Sandman knows that it's been a long, slow crawl towards becoming a reality. But rather than that being because of some sort of development hell, or behind-the-scenes clashes, it's because the filmmakers are trying to get everything just right. At least that's what actor-producer Joseph Gordon-Levitt says.
In a new chat with MTV, JGL offered an update on the project and what the creative team is working on. Speaking of "creative team," it should be noted that Sandman-creator Gaiman is onboard as a consultant with input on the product. "It’s really good, man. It’s slow but steady,” Gordon-Levitt says. “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," he says. "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."
Another challenge is that the team doesn't want Morpheus- the lead character- to punch anything. "Big spectacular action movies are generally about crime fighters fighting crime and blowing sh-t up. This has nothing to do with that,” JGL 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."
He says this is why the film is taking so long to come together, because it's hard to write a spectacular film while trying to think outside of the box. "It’s going to be like a grand spectacular action film, but that relies on none of those same old ordinary cliches,” Gordon-Levitt promises. “So, that’s why it’s taking a lot time to write, but it’s going to be really good."
Rumors persist that Gordon-Levitt may end up directing the film as well. He certainly sounds heavily committed to the project, so it couldn't hurt. It'd be quite a leap from Don Jon, which was a great little film, but he's got tons of experience on big productions like The Dark Knight Rises and Sin City 2, so I think he could bring it all together.