Well, this weekend past certainly has been giving us plenty to talk about, as far as Sandman goes. People have been coming and going from the project so much, that I’m wondering whether or not it is even still happening. However, like a crime scene, let’s put together a timeline of the events of the past few days.
To begin with, it is worth discussing the character of Sandman, and where the project was before all of this started. While there are many Sandmen in the DC Universe, the one that this film would be based on is Morpheus, The Lord of Dreams. Morpheus’ stories took place, for the most part, in Morpheus’ Kingdom, known as the Realm of Dreams.
For the past year or so, Joseph Gordon Levitt has been attached to the project to direct and to, presumably, star. However, since this announcement, word has been scarce on what will be happening with the film. Of course, that all changed very quickly.
The Sandman news began with the announcement that Eric Heisserer (The Thing and The Nightmare on Elm Street Remakes) would be writing the film. While not exactly a decision that was lighting the world on fire, it was nice to hear something about the film again, as it had been some time.
Shortly after this news Joseph Gordon Levitt took to Facebook to announce that he will be leaving the project. In the post he stated: “Recently, as you also might know if you like to follow these sorts of things, the sorta “ownership” (for lack of a better term) of the Sandman material changed hands when Warner Brothers shifted the entire catalogue of Vertigo comics (an imprint of DC) to their subsidiary, New Line. And a few months ago, I came to realize that the folks at New Line and I just don’t see eye to eye on what makes Sandman special, and what a film adaptation could/should be. So unfortunately, I decided to remove myself from the project. I wish nothing but the best for the team moving forward”.
At this point in the story, Neil Gaiman (Creator of Sandman) threw his hat into the ring to give his opinion on the subject. Through a variety of Twitter posts, Gaiman stated that he was sad to hear Levitt had left the project, and reminded everyone that, while he created the character, he does not own him.
Well, this is a catastrophe… in other words it’s the story of almost every comic book production at Warner Bros. I’m sorry, but this just demonstrates a catastrophic lack of planning on behalf of the studio.
If this was the first time that this had happened, I would be much more forgiving, but these stories come out of Warner Bros with such alarming regularity, that you can’t help but panic. Don’t forget, this is the studio that hired Michelle MacLaren, only to immediately fire her and has four to five different sets of writers, writing radically different screenplays for each of their films, and just seeing how it goes.
At the end of this month we have the release of Batman vs. Superman, the inaugural film is DC’s Cinematic Universe. I am still hoping that this film will be good, but this news just makes me lose more and more faith in what is coming.