Neil Gaiman says than an adaptation of his graphic novel Death: The High Cost of Living is currently dead, but that doesn’t mean it won’t come back to life. For those who don’t know, Death is a spin-off of Gaiman’s Sandman comics. In the story, Death takes human form for one day every century in order to better understand humanity. Here’s what Gaiman told Vulture about the status of the movie:
We just set it up again at a Warner-related company and everything was all ready. It was weird, though. If you had asked me in March of this year about Death, I would have told you that I thought it was pretty definitely dead. And if you’d asked me in April, I would have been thrilled and happy and said, “No, no, no, it’s absolutely on. And then in June, July, the new powers that be at DC and Warner basically closed everything down.
Of course, that’s no reason to be discouraged. Hit the jump for what Gaiman told us about the project last year.
Here’s what Gaiman told us about Death in July 2009:
I don’t know that it’s dead right now, but it’s definitely lying in a coffin with a lily on its chest. However anything in comics can come back to life and things in coffins can spring out at you at any moment. I was quite sure in 2002 that Beowulf was not just dead but absolutely gone and dead forever in then in 2004, Bob Zemeckis suddenly resurrected it. Death was meant to have been with New Line and New Line is now basically a filing cabinet in Warner Brothers. If it comes back, or if we can figure out a place within Warner Brothers to make it, then it’ll get made. The problem that Death has is that those characters belong to Sandman which belongs to DC Comics which belongs to Warner Brothers which means I can’t take anything out. Anything that’s mine, I can decide where it goes and what happens to it. I can take a Coraline and I can pick Henry Selick. I can pick who would be the best filmmaker for this — Henry — and send, as I did, send the Coraline’s manuscript to Henry and then stick with him for seven years while he went off to find a way to make it and a place to make. When he finally found Laika and settled down there and persuaded them to make it, I feel like all of my faith was justified. With Death there’s a great script, I would love to make that film someday, but I’m not holding my breath any longer.
That still seems to be his general attitude as he tells Vulture:
So everything got closed down for reevaluation to decide what it was, to decide if they were making it or not. And Death is one of those things that’s been closed down. So, whether or not it will come back to life, I don’t know. Death seems amazingly hard to kill. And the truth is I will be happy either way. It was one of those things where I really wanted to make a Death movie because I knew that for me, the tone of voice was the most important thing about the movie. I didn’t want somebody to make a bad Death movie anymore than I want anybody to make a bad Sandman movie or TV series or whatever. So that’s the bit that’s important to me: Is it any good?