The adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s comic book series “Sandman” is a long time coming. Since Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s involvement with the property a couple years back, it’s been a slow crawl to the finish line. Of course, as we mentioned earlier this month, a lot of it has to do with the fact that it’s incredibly hard to adapt a comic like this, where it wasn’t presented as one complete tale, but rather a series of issues. All the same, it looks like we don’t have any worries as far as the production is concerned. Gordon-Levitt still appears to be all in, and now we now have a bit of an update on the films release—well, sort of.
It looks like “Sandman” will now be produced under New Line Cinema, rather than at Warner Bros., where it’s been in development for the past couple years. With Warner Bros. hard at work at the mainstream superheroes like Batman and Superman, it looks like they’ve opted to hand over reins to Toby Emmerich and company—and not only just for “Sandman,” but for all potential Vertigo titles. It’s important to note that this isn’t Warner Bros. handing over their properties to another random studio. Like Warner Bros., New Line Cinema is also owned by the Time Warner parent company.
This change could have happened for a number of reasons, but the branding of “Sandman” and other titles like it is likely at least a big part of the puzzle. While, yes, “Sandman” is indeed a comic book released by DC’s Vertigo imprint, it is not to be confused with any movie in the upcoming DC Cinematic Universe. This may seem like an obvious statement for those in the know, but to everyone else, it may not be so much. With the way comic book films are crossing over in Hollywood, your average Joe would probably buy “Sandman” as a part of the overall DC picture. Neil Gaiman even felt the need to comment on the matter several months back.
“It’s not a DC Comics film,” Gaiman said on Tumblr. “It’s a Vertigo film. That’s a different slate of films, and a different announcement.”
Keeping the film adaptations in separate studios can be yet another way to prevent any brand confusion. After all, Vertigo titles, when compared to DC titles, definitely veer on the less traditional side of things, as they tend to be more creator-driven than character-driven.
Despite all this, we have to mention the fact that “Shazam,” while technically a DC Cinematic Universe film, is still over at New Line Cinema. The reason for the disconnect between that title and other superhero titles isn’t quite clear yet.
Do you think this a good move from the studios, or does this make you uneasy about the faith WB has in the “Sandman” film?