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While DC Comics is moving full steam ahead with their superhero movies, the venture into cinematic territory with their Vertigo brand has been considerably slower. Their main focus has been Neil Gaiman’s Sandman, a movie which has been in and out of development since the late 1990s. The latest go at adapting the character has been under Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who is working on the script with Gaiman and comic book media veteran David Goyer. There hasn’t been any word recently on how the project is going, but come 2016, we may start to see it taken to the next level.

Acknowledging the holdup with Sandman coming to the big screen, Goyer told Collider that we could see the movie begin production as soon as next year. As he explains it:
We’re just about to do a new draft. All of the Vertigo properties ported over to New Line a few months ago. There was a decision from the higher-ups that New Line would focus on the Vertigo properties and Warner Bros would focus on the DC properties...I feel confident that film will go into production hopefully next year.

With Sandman being a much weirder property than typical superhero fare, that makes it all the more important that Goyer and his partners get the script right rather than rush it out to the masses. Gaiman’s original Sandman series, which was published between 1989 and 1996, followed Morpheus, the Lord of the Dreams, who is one of the seven Endless, personifications of abstract concepts. His main power among his various god-like abilities is being able to control all aspects of sleep, dreams and nightmares.

Because of the series’ 75+ issue length, the movie is expected to be more of an original story that encompasses Morpheus’ history rather than a direct adaptation of the graphic novels. While no specifics have been revealed concerning the plot, moviegoers should expect it to be less action packed than other comic book movies (with Levitt specifically saying that Morpheus won’t be punching anybody) and something more surreal.

Sandman isn’t the only Vertigo property that’s getting the live action treatment. A 100 Bullets movie is also being developed, with Tom Hardy playing a key role behind the scenes and likely on camera as well. Meanwhile with television, iZombie is currently airing on The CW, Lucifer and Preacher will premiere next year on Fox and AMC, respectively, and a Y: The Last Man TV series is in development over at FX.

We’ll keep you apprised on any developments regarding the Sandman movie, but if things go as well as Goyer predicts, perhaps it could hit theaters sometime in 2017 or early 2018.

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