Joseph Gordon-Levitt: 'Sandman' Movie Will Be Spectacular But Punch-Free

DC Comics The Sandman Art - P 2013
<p>DC Comics The Sandman Art - P 2013</p>   |   DC Entertainment
"It was actually one of the things that Neil Gaiman said to me, he said, 'Don’t have him punch anything,'" the producer recalls.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt has offered an update on the progress of the movie version of Neil Gaiman's comic book opus Sandman, promising that despite a lack of punching, audiences can expect a "grand, spectacular action film."

Speaking to MTV at the Spike TV Guys' Choice Awards this weekend, the actor and producer of the adaptation — which has David Goyer involved as co-producer and Gaiman as executive producer — said that work on the project was "slow but steady," adding, "It’s a really complicated adaptation because those comics, they’re brilliant. But they're not written as a whole."

Gaiman's Sandman series ran 75 issues (as well as a special one-off issue) from 1989 through 1996, with the writer returning to the character and series for two graphic novels (The Dream Hunters and Endless Nights) and the current miniseries prologue, The Sandman: Overture.

"It's not like Watchmen, which is a graphic novel that has a beginning, middle and end," Gordon-Levitt told MTV. "To try and take [the entire Sandman series] and make it into something that's a feature film — a movie that has a beginning, middle and end — is complicated."

One thing is assured, however: Gordon-Levitt promised that the movie won't be like other big-budget features. "Big, spectacular action movies are generally about, like, crime-fighters fighting crime and blowing shit up. This has nothing to do with that," he said to MTV. "It was actually one of the things that Neil Gaiman said to me, he said, 'Don’t have him punch anything.’ Because he never does. If you read the comics, Morpheus doesn’t punch anybody. That’s not what he does. And so, it’s going to be like a grand, spectacular action film, but that relies on none of those same old ordinary cliches."

That, he explained, is why development isn't going as fast as some fans might want. But, Gordon-Levitt promised, "it's going to be really good!" As long as you weren't accidentally hoping for a movie about this guy.