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Joseph Gordon-Levitt in Final Talks to Direct, Star In SANDMAN

While many of us thought they’d get The Cure’s Robert Smith, it seems that Warner Bros. is in final talks for Joseph Gordon-Levitt to star in an adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s reimagining of Sandman. Deadline reports that Gordon-Levitt will also apparently co-produce the film with David S. Goyer and could possibly even direct it himself. He’s already proven that he’s quite adept at directing himself in his debut Don Jon from earlier this year, and this might just be a move for him to be the next Clint Eastwood.

Gaiman’s Sandman shifts between horror and fantasy, and the central character is Morpheus, the personification of dreams. After being held captive 70 years, Morpheus escapes, gains revenge and rebuilds his crumbling kingdom while trying to adapt to the times. The Vertigo Comics title ran from 1989 to 1996, producing 75 issues, and would routinely guest star several other of DC/Vertigo’s more magical characters, like John Constantine, Phantom Stranger, and Etrigan the Demon.

JGLGordon-Levitt is no stranger to comic book adaptations, having, of course, played the pivotal role of Officer John Blake in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises, and will play Johnny, an original character, in Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez’s upcoming Sin City: A Dame to Kill For. What Gordon-Levitt’s take on Sandman will be, both from an acting and a directing standpoint, is very much up in the air, but he’s a smart and talented enough guy that it makes us very excited to see the result.

What do you think of this news? Are you ready go to on a Joseph Gordon-Levitt journey to the Dreaming? Who would you like to see star as the various hellions and mystical entities Morpheus encounters? Let us know in the comments, yo.

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62 comments

  • Also, Benedict Cumberbatch voiced the Angel Islington in the radio play version of Neverwhere, so he’s done Gaiman stuff before. I will be actively campaigning for this.

  • As far as voices go, BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH. Actually, I think he’s got everything it needs, the voice, the height, the weird eyes, certainly the chops. They can give him a spiky David-Bowie ‘do and he’ll be well away.

  • I think JGL has the acting chops to do the role justice (check out Hesher and Brick), and anytime a comic/book/show I love becomes a movie I just go in with low expectations that way I’m rarely disappointed ;)

  • Things I am feeling right now about this….Uhmmm panic? Forboding…. There’s hope in there somewhere, but right now its soooo tiny…and I read somewhere Terry Gilliam is writing it, not Gaiman??????? Oh jeez Oh jeez Oh jeez please dont let this go the Constantine route….. *crossing fingers*

  • A series would do the Sandman justice as a whole, but a movie would be similar to a one-shot comic. There was one about Sandman influencing Shakespeare…something like that. Kris Holden-Reid is an interesting choice…as is Jonathan Rhys-Myers. Tom Mixon from Sleepy Hollow would be great; he has that randomness combined with intelligence. Going to follow this one!

  • I’m personally a fan of Gaiman’s choices. Hiddleson or Cumberbatch (as he said, “as long as they have good cheekbones) Plus after seeing Only Lovers Left Alive, Hiddleston was scary close to the look already.

  • This might turn out to become a very interesting and intreguiging movie. I’d definetly love to see Keanu Reeves play Morpheus as he did a really good job in The Matrix as Neo.

  • I’m seriously in love with this comic and I’m afraid they’re going to squeeze everything I love about it and turn it into crap. Not to mention alll the people who will claim to be dedicated fans that, have never read the, comic. I’m sui nervous, about this. I like Joseph Gordon, I do. I’m a huge fan but for this roll….?? I dunno man!!

  • We know by now that JGL never actually said he was going to be in it right? Just producing? I’m pretty pessimistic about this project (there’s no way it could work as a movie) but I think we’re all avoiding the obvious solution; cast more than one actor as Morpheus! His appearance changes all the time (he was even a black guy at one point) so why should only person play him? But keep the voice the same. And use Neil Gaiman’s voice. Maybe Christopher Lee when he’s angry.

  • I’m surprised at the lack of imagination among the commenters here. Cumberbatch? Hiddleston? They may be good at their respective recent roles, but they aren’t the only actors out there.

  • I don’t think I like this. Benedict Cumberbatch, Kris Holden-Reid, Richard Crispin Armitage, or Blake Ritson could be Dream/Morpheus, I really do not see Joseph Gordon-Levitt, I love him, but he isn’t very dark or Dream like. I just can’t see it. Then, I couldn’t see Heath Ledger as the joker and he did an amazing job. Maybe he’ll be good, but I doubt it. (Sorry for being a negative Nancy) I feel Joseph Gordon-Levitt is missing the gravatus.

  • SQUEEEEEEEE! <3 <3 <3 I love Sandman, and reading it in the 90's made me a fan of Gaiman! I really admire Gordon-Levitt's work, and I think he'll make an excellent Morpheus!

  • Too mainstream? He reinvented himself in his early 20s through indy films. Go watch Brick and Mysterious Skin. Seriously, if you haven’t seen them I’m sad for you. He’s brooding and damaged in both, not to mention Hesher. He’ll be great in this. His filmography is full of crazy shit you may have never seen, and just because Inception made big money doesn’t make it mainstream either. Geez.

  • JGL as Dream? No. Just… No.
    Tom Hiddleston: resounding YES (look at vid clips from Only Lovers Left Alive)
    Cumberbatch: Sure! As a commenter above put it, as refined as Neil Himself.
    But…not JGL…seems like heck nice guy, but NOT this role.

  • […] Gordon-Levitt is no stranger to comic book adaptations, having, of course, played the pivotal role of Officer John Blake in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises, and will play Johnny, an original character, in Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez’s upcoming Sin City: A Dame to Kill For. What Gordon-Levitt’s take on Sandman will be, both from an acting and a directing standpoint, is very much up in the air, but he’s a smart and talented enough guy that it makes us very excited to see the result. (ARTICLE USED) […]

  • I actually think JGL could be a good Sandman, as long as the story and the directing/editing is done well. It needs to be surreal. My fear is that the studio wouldn’t want it to be as strange and surreal as it needs to be.

  • If I had to choose, I’d like JGL to direct. No Depp, please. I’m Depped out. Maybe Elijah Wood, or if you’re looking for someone less known maybe Keir Gilchrist or, if you really want someone to bring in the ladies, Tyler Blackburn? Though, to be fair, the roll is going to need a lot of makeup to really get it to look right, you could go with practically any gaunt gentleman.

  • I like JGL, but I cannot see him as Morpheus. I also can’t see Sandman being adapted in any satisfying way other than a long, extended TV series. It is one of the most complex narratives produced in the last 50 years. It is the Remembrance of Things Past for myth geeks, working on several meta-levels at once while cross-referencing narratives from many cultures. Trying to encapsulate any part of Sandman in less than 20 hours of film is doing a disservice to the greatest visual narrative of the 20th century. The fact that they think they can make a 2 hour movie out of this material is proof that they don’t understand Sandman at all.

  • Hmm. While I do indeed enjoy most of Mr. Levitt’s past performances, I am unsure if he is the best to star in such a movie. This is a move Eta where big well known faces are just dominating the screen and I can honestly say that when you try to make a film adaptation of anything that has a cult following, you must put in someone to play the part who has not really been seen before, and who still has the ability to play the part, while also retaining a knowledge and sense of kinship with the morphed us himself. I would rather not watch the most awaited movie of my life thinking “so when are they going to go into the dream WITHIN the dream…” and just enjoy a fresh face the has no major motion picture ties to it. Anything you can do to make this movie the most immersive and realistic experoence, with a cult classic vibe, while stripping away heavy unneeded CG and ‘recognizable’ character casting could make this movie into a possible cinematic masterpiece.

  • Please please please don’t do this as a movie. Give it the time and care that the series deserves. Something like The Sandman series really would be done better justice as a series. I don’t think even the best writers can cram 75 issues into a couple of two hour movies. On the subject of Joseph Gordon levitt playing Morpheus I’m in the air for it. It is difficult to picture him portraying a being that is older than time.

  • Hmmm. Agree. I like JGL but definitely not for Morpheus. I kinda think Tom Hiddleston would be interesting to see in the role. But an Unknown actor would definitely be my next pick. I’m hoping my expectations don’t get too high for this, I loved the Sandman chronicles!!!

  • No. Sadly I cannot see this actor, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, as Morpheus.
    Far too young, short and fresh egg.

    Honestly, I can’t see anyone that is not as refined as Gaiman playing this part.

    I am torn if I would see it. Simply, after watching Morpheus waif around my dreams for 20 years, half in shadow and thought, I just can’t imagine attaching a common face to him.

  • Yes, of course they meant Robert Smith from the time period that the books are originally from. And really, the most you could think of to say was an attack on the weight of someone legendary? Oh no, a fat middle aged man! (Who has adoring fans, a history behind him, and still has that /voice/.)

    As for this casting, the idea of someone being both Morpheus and directing the film.. No. I don’t think he’s right for the part at all. I can understand the studios not wanting to risk an unknown, but I can only hope that this falls through like earlier attempts to make it have.

  • Who the hell though Robert Smith? Maybe Robert Smith from 20-25 years ago, but the guy’s looking a bit doughy these days. Morpheus is meant to be on the gaunt side of body-type, whereas currently Robert Smith . . . let’s just say I wouldn’t want to be caught between him and Frank Black at an all-you-can-eat buffet.

  • Yes, yes, yes, a million times yes. I can totally see it, and I trust this actor to always do an excellent job. He’s cognitive and savvy enough to see it through for sure.

  • For many of us, Sandman was a classic image of childhood. This role may be too important for a one man show for acting and directing. It might be best to let this become a classic, at least a cult classic. I want to see this film stretch across the world. The comic’s have a Tim Burton feel. I don’t think Depp would be a good cast for Morpheus. I respect Deep and I admire his art. Something does not sit right. I think Morpheus could launch an unknown person into world fame. People are tired of the vampires and zombies are about to go down. This is the perfect time for Sandman to leave the dream world. Can not fucking wait!

  • I have to agree w/ the others. He’s an awesome guy but so not right for that role. He’s too boyish. Yeah I know ”but Heath Ledger Heath Ledger blah blah blah”. Sorry, not buying it!