Joseph Gordon-Levitt Exits From ‘Sandman’ Movie; Sites Creative Issues With New Line

Mar 6, 2016


Even though the project recently landed a new screenwriter, the WB adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s Sandman has lost it’s lead actor.

Lead actor and co-producer Joseph Gordon-Levitt confirmed his exit from the project via Facebook and Twitter.

Here’s what Joe had to say and why the film’s move from Warner Bros. to New Line Cinema caused his departure.


So, as you might know if you like to follow these sorts of things, a while back, David Goyer and I made a producing deal with Warner Brothers to develop a movie adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s SANDMAN. 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 realize 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.

I’d like to thank all the great people I’ve had the opportunity to work with on this one. I’ve had a blast with and learned a ton from David and Jack. Niija Kuykendall, Greg Silverman, and everyone at Warner Brothers have been fantastic, as have Geoff Johns and everyone at DC. And it’s been a particular privilege as well as a rocking good time getting to know Mr. Gaiman, whose generous insights and masterful work have certainly convinced me that the Lord of Dreams and the Prince of Stories are one and the same Endless pattern.


I’m sure the folks over at Warner Bros. are surely pissed that New Line lost their star lead and a producer over creative issues. It begs the question will people really care about a Sandman film without Joe’s involvement?

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