You might have recently heard that Joseph Gordon-Levitt will be directing and starring in the Sandman movie. While I think Gordon-Levitt is a perfect casting choice
to play Dream, aka the Sandman, if I had to pick who to direct, it would have to be Guillermo del Toro. His visual style to me is very indicative of the surreal, beautiful, and goth scenes depicted in The Sandman comics. However, although Gordon-Levitt is not my first choice for director, that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s a bad one. Gordon-Levitt is just fresh out of directing his first movie, Don Jon, which has been doing pretty well. Even so, Sandman may be a challenge to take on as his next big directing project, especially since it’s just his second one, but I look forward to seeing what he can do.
Although Sandman is a highly complex comic to turn into a movie, I’m actually pretty confident in it, largely because Neil Gaiman is working alongside Gordon-Levitt and David Goyer. Neil Gaiman’s overall approval of this project going forward is what really makes me excited. Susana Polo at The Mary Sue explains:
It’s a very exciting announcement, all in all. Neil Gaiman is very open about how he’s reached a point of stable revenue in his career that he can afford to have high standards for adaptations of his work, and refuse to allow adaptations to be made if they don’t measure up. Specifically, he’s mentioned turning down studios who wanted to option his Anansi Boys, but only if they could make the majority Black cast majority White. (source)
I had heard similar rumors about various possible Sandman movies or TV series being denied by Gaiman because he dubbed them sub-par. His protectiveness over his work is something I admire and makes me that much more confident that the movie will be well done.
I, personally, have always felt Sandman would be a hard comic to translate into a movie. I could see a TV show—with the episodic nature of the comics, that could work—but Sandman’s lack of a linear story would make even a TV show difficult, let alone a movie. The Sandman comics often read more as various mythological stories about the Endless—obviously Dream in particular—and I think that is mainly what is going to make this movie difficult to make. I don’t think it is impossible, but definitely a challenge. Nevertheless, I trust that Neil Gaiman knows what he is doing. I have a feeling that any Sandman movie is going to be very different from the comics. Many people get angry when comic book movies aren’t carbon copies of the comics, but for a graphic novel like Sandman I think we need to keep in mind that a good adaptation may be one that keeps to the spirit of original, but doesn’t simply try to recreate the comic word for word, shot for shot.
Whatever happens, I am certainly looking forward to this movie. Other than Wonder Woman finally appearing on screen, this may be the best comic book news we had all year.
Also, David Bowie has to play Lucifer.