Well that was a quick turn of events. Yesterday, news broke that New Line had enlisted a new screenwriter to work on the long-developing adaptation of the Neil Gaiman comic Sandman. The project originated with Joseph Gordon-Levitt and David S. Goyer, with Gordon-Levitt subsequently signing on to star in and direct the ambitious adaptation. Yesterday’s news came as a sign that things were finally moving forward, with production taking place this year, but today Gordon-Levitt himself took to Facebook to announce that he’s leaving the project altogether.
The versatile performer explains that once Sandman moved from Warner Bros. to New Line, with WB opting to have New Line handle all Vertigo properties while they focused on their DC Comics material, he realized he and the studio had different ideas of what makes Sandman special. Here’s Gordon-Levitt’s full explanation:
So it sounds like Gordon-Levitt actually left Sandman a few months ago, and on the heels of yesterday’s news decided to clear the air. This is a genuine bummer, as not only does Sandman seem like a great fit for Gordon-Levitt, but many (myself included) have been itching to see Gordon-Levitt’s next movie as a director following his promising debut on Don Jon. This appeared to offer a unique visual opportunity for which Gordon-Levitt to stretch his talents, so it’s a shame that the studio’s plans for the project conflict with the director’s vision.
Gordon-Levitt recently signed on to star in a film about the origins of the KKK for Amazon called K Troop and is developing an R-rated musical with Channing Tatum, so he’s keeping plenty busy. It sounds like Gordon-Levitt had a better relationship with Warner Bros., and that studio no doubt has plenty of visually ambitious material in need of a director, so perhaps now that Gordon-Levitt’s off Sandman he could make the move over to WB? Whatever the case, New Line is now in need of a director.