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. “Itâ€™s really good, man. Itâ€™s slow but steady,â€ Gordon-Levitt says. â€œItâ€™s a really complicated adaptation because those comics, theyâ€™re brilliant. But theyâ€™re not written as a whole. Itâ€™s not like â€˜Watchmen,â€™ which is a graphic novel that has a beginning, middle, and end. â€˜Sandmanâ€™ was written over the course of whatever â€” 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 thatâ€™s a feature film â€” a movie that has a beginning, middle, and end â€” 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,â€ JGL explained. â€œAnd it was actually one of the things that Neil Gaiman said to me, he said â€˜Donâ€™t have any punching.â€™ Because he never does. If you read the comics, Morpheus doesnâ€™t punch anybody. Thatâ€™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. “Itâ€™s going to be like a grand spectacular action film, but that relies on none of those same old ordinary cliches,â€ Gordon-Levitt promises. â€œSo, thatâ€™s why itâ€™s taking a lot time to write, but itâ€™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.