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Joseph Gordon-Levitt Drops Out of 'Sandman' Over Creative Differences

Joseph Gordon-Levitt has dropped out of 'Sandman', saying he and the studio don't see "eye to eye" on the project.

The actor had teamed up with David Goyer to bring the acclaimed comic to life in December 2013. However, he's left the much anticipated project after several years of development.

Gordon-Levitt says he is leaving because New Line Cinema has a different idea about "what makes 'Sandman' special." He had been set to direct and star in the DC Comics title.

"A while back, David Goyer and I made a producing deal with Warner Brothers to develop a movie adaptation of Neil Gaiman's Sandman," he explains on Facebook. "Neil himself came on as an executive producer, we hired the excellent screenwriter Jack Thorne, and we started in on the ambitious task of adapting one of the most beloved and boundary-pushing titles in the world of comics."

"I was pleased with the progress we were making, even though we still had quite a ways to go."

"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 realise 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."

Gordon-Levitt said it had "been a particular privilege as well as a rocking good time" getting to know Gaiman.

Following the announcement, Gaiman said he had no control over the project: "Reminder for the curious: I don't own Sandman. DC Comics does. I don't choose who writes scripts, the director, producer or cast."

"And, for the record, my respect for Joseph Gordon-Levitt is undiminished. Getting to know him was the best bit of the last round. He's special. I would love to work with him some more. He's smart, honest and really nice."

The Sandman became a cult success for DC Comics that ran for 75 issues from January 1989 until March 1996. When it wrapped up in 1996, it was in fact outselling both Superman and Batman.

March 8, 2016 |

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