Earlier this year, it was announced that Joseph Gordon-Levitt had abandoned the attempt to turn Neil Gaiman’s landmark comic series The Sandman into a film after years of work, explaining that he wasn’t comfortable working on something that was drifting away from what he had hoped to achieve. Well, something very similar has happened again.
Eric Heisserer was the man chosen to pick up where Gordon-Levitt and his team (including David S Goyer and the wonderful Jack Thorne) left off, but the writer of Arrival, Lights Out and the Nightmare On Elm Street remake has just made it clear that he’s no longer involved.
Speaking to i09, he said “I had many conversations with Neil [Gaiman] on this, and I did a lot of work on the feature and came to the conclusion that the best version of this property exists as an HBO series or limited series, not as a feature film, not even as a trilogy. The structure of the feature film really doesn’t mesh with this. So I went back and said here’s the work that I’ve done. This isn’t where it should be. It needs to go to TV. So I talked myself out of a job!”
“I really hope so. I have been strongly advocating for it as a prestige TV series instead of a film, so I fired myself from the project because in my opinion it is built to become a series.”
The io9 story does also make it clear that Gordon-Levitt had actually left The Sandman “quietly…seven months before I came on… So it looked like I was responsible for that leave when in fact I had nothing to do with that.”
So, what next for The Sandman? While we agree that trying to fit it into a film would seem to be madness, it’s an incredible commitment in terms of money, time and faith on the part of any TV broadcaster willing to take it on. Still…go on, Netflix. Or HBO. Or Amazon. You know you want to.
Bottom line, though: we’d rather have no Sandman adaptation than a crappy one.
In the meantime, we’ll be re-reading the comics for the millionth time.
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