EXCLUSIVE: Jack Thorne has been set to script Sandman at Warner Bros based on the pitch that David Goyer made for his treatment for the Neil Gaiman comic book classic. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is producing with Goyer and the hope is for him to star and possibly direct. Gordon-Levitt made his feature directorial debut on the well-received Sundance pic Don Jon, but this would be a considerable step up in scope and scale. Gaiman is exec producer. Thorne scripted How I Live Now.
The Sandman series 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. Warner Bros has long tried to crack the subject matter, and there is optimism that Goyer did that. The potential payoff is a highly original potential franchise, if Goyer, Gordon-Levitt and Warner Bros could pull it off. It has that cool factor like Looper did. Gordon-Levitt next stars in another seminal graphic novel-based film, Sin City: A Dame To Kill For, which Robert Rodriguez and creator Frank Miller helmed. Thorne is repped by WME and Casarotto Ramsay.