Joseph Gordon-Levitt is teaming up with David Goyer to produce an adaptation of Sandman, the acclaimed Vertigo comic, for Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment.
Goyer has written the treatment and will supervise the writing. Gordon-Levitt, meanwhile, would take up the mantle of star and director on the project.
Neil Gaiman, who authored the seminal work, will exec produce.
Sandman tells the tale of Morpheus, the Lord of Dreams. The book began in the horror realm but quickly made its mark in fantasy and mythology as Gaiman introduced the Endless, a group of powerful brothers and sisters that includes Destiny, Death, Destruction, Despair, Desire and Delirium (as well as Dream). The book helped establish DC’s Vertigo imprint and won several awards. It was one of the rare comics that attracted a large non-comic-reading audience, including a devoted female following.
A movie version of Sandman had been in development since the mid-’90s, with an early version involving Roger Avary. Interest waned during the oughts as attentions turned to television as the best medium for tackling the adaptation. At one point DC was in talks with HBO and James Mangold to develop a show without Warner Bros. Television’s involvement, but that never coalesced.
Three years ago, Warner Bros. Television tried to develop an adaptation with Eric Kripke, creator of The CW’s horror-tinged Supernatural.
If successful, a Sandman adaptation could anchor a fantasy universe that is nearly limitless in the stories it could tell.
Rumors of Gordon-Levitt’s involvement surfaced last month when Badass Digest reported that Goyer was pitching a take on the character.