The Next DC Super Hero Movie Is… the Sandman?

December 17, 2013 by dracs

Shh. Do you hear that? That is the sound of my heart breaking as Warner Brothers will apparently be working on a film adaptation of one of the greatest comic books of all time; Neil Gaiman’s the Sandman.


Sandman is one of the most highly acclaimed comic book series of all time. Set (loosely) within the DC universe, Sandman sees Morpheus, the king of dreams, escape from a one hundred years confinement.

Now he must set about restoring his kingdom and in so doing must contend with beings from across imagination, learning more of himself and reality than even he guessed of in his immortal life.

Set to star and direct in this very ambitious adaptation is Joseph Gordon-Levitt, a prolific actor who has appeared previously in films like Inception and Dark Knight Rises.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Now Joseph Gordon-Levitt is a good actor, which has given us Sandman fans some hope. However, my main issue is that I just don’t think Sandman will work particularly well as a film.

Why I don’t think it’ll work:

Non-Linear Story – One of the main reasons Sandman worked so well as a periodical comic was that it doesn’t really have a linear plot. Instead, it is very episodic in nature. Stories jump all over time and happen in a variety of worlds, not all of which are concerned with the character Morpheus. It could almost be considered a picaresque narrative, that is a story without a plot, but which is instead more akin to a series of loosely connected adventures.

The Main Character – Morpheus, Dream of the Endless, whatever you want to call him. He is the driving force of the story, who ties all the events together. However, he remains a very distant and enigmatic figure to the reader. Many of the stories do not focus on him at all, instead focusing on a human interacting with him. It’s difficult  for an audience to empathise with such an inhuman figure as Dream in the time span of a film, so I am unsure of how well he would transfer to the big screen.

Preludes and Nocturnes

However, all hope is not entirely lost to us.

Why it could work:

Joseph Gordon-Levitt – As I said, good actor.

Neil Gaiman – Gordon-Levitt mentioned in a tweet that he is working closely with Gaiman. If anyone can make Sandman work in another medium it is his creator, whose previous filmography include Stardust, Coraline and Beowulf, as well as episodes of Doctor Who.

Preludes - At present it seems that they are only adapting the first volume Preludes and Nocturnes. This deals with Morpheus’ escape from captivity and return to power and as such has the most linear and coherent storyline of the series.

Constantine – The first volume includes an appearance by the scouser magician himself, John Constantine. The real one, not Keanu Reeves pretending. I would forgive a lot for a faithful portrayal of Constantine.


OK, my fanboy rant is over. You can all go about your business now.

What do you guys think, is this a good idea for a film or not?

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