EXCLUSIVE: Joseph Gordon-Levitt is finalizing a deal to produce Sandman at Warner Bros with David Goyer, who pitched his treatment for the Neil Gaiman comic book classic. It has been rumored that Gordon-Levitt might star, and the deal he’s making attaches him as the protagonist. I’m told that in addition to that, he’s eyeing the project as a directing vehicle. 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. They will hire a writer shortly.
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 tried for some time to get a script right, but they may have finally cracked it. Gordon-Levitt appeared to end The Dark Knight Rises as heir apparent to the Batsuit, but obviously they have gone another way and set Ben Affleck as the Caped Crusader in Batman Vs. Superman. Warner Bros is high on Gordon-Levitt after he starred in the Batfilm and Inception, and this would be 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. Gordon-Levitt is repped by WME