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Joseph Gordon-Levitt to Produce, Possibly Star In and Direct 'Sandman' for Warner Bros.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt may finally star in the cinematic adaption of a comic book. The actor will team up with David S. Goyer to produce a movie based on Neil Gaiman's The Sandman comic books, according to Variety. Part of Gordon-Levitt's deal with Warner Bros. may include him directing and starring in the movie too.

UPDATE: Gordon-Levitt has confirmed through his Twitter account that he's producing The Sandman, tweeting, "Ladies and gentlemen, I'm incredibly honored to be working with David Goyer, Warner Bros, and @neilhimself on SANDMAN. #Prelude." As for starring in the movie? "Just to clarify, folks. I've signed on as a producer on Sandman. The rest remains to be seen. Delighted you guys are excited. I am too!" the actor also tweeted.

After playing Robin John Blake in Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises, a lot of fans hoped that Gordon-Levitt would appear as Batman in whatever Warner Bros. plans were for the character. We now know that Ben Affleck will be playing Batman in Batman vs. Superman, but that didn't stop Gordon-Levitt's name from coming up for a couple other superhero roles. There was a rumor that the actor was going to play Star-Lord in Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy, but the role went to Chris Pratt. More recently, we've heard that Gordon-Levitt was on the shortlist along with Paul Rudd to play Hank Pym in Ant-Man. No casting pick has been made for that movie yet, but it sound like Rudd is the guy to beat.

The Sandman is a different beast. Unlike Batman or Ant-Man, the character has lived in a universe mostly separate from the rest of DC's characters, with Gaiman operating as the main creative force behind the series. Originally, The Sandman comics ran from 1989 to 1996, but Gaiman has been working on a new volume of stories for the character.

From Wikipedia, here's what The Sandman is about:

The Sandman's main character is Dream, the Lord of Dreams (also known, to various characters throughout the series, as Morpheus ...), who is essentially the anthropomorphic personification of dreams. At the start of the series, Morpheus is captured by an occult ritual and held prisoner for 70 years. Morpheus escapes in the modern day and, after avenging himself upon his captors, sets about rebuilding his kingdom, which has fallen into disrepair in his absence. Gaiman himself has summarized the plot of the series (in the foreword to Endless Nights) as "The Lord of Dreams learns that one must change or die, and makes his decision." 
... In its beginnings, the series is a very dark horror comic. Later, the series evolves into an elaborate fantasy series, incorporating elements of classical and contemporary mythology, ultimately placing its protagonist in the role of a tragic hero. 
The storylines primarily take place in the Dreaming, Morpheus's realm, and the waking world, with occasional visits to other domains, such as Hell, Faerie, Asgard, and the domains of the other Endless. Many use the contemporary United States of America and the United Kingdom as a backdrop. 

The concept of Gordon-Levitt also directing The Sandman is not only intriguing in terms of giving someone who only just made his directorial debut with Don Jon a big movie like this, but would also show that Warner Bros. is ready to take some risks when it comes to choosing directors with distinct styles.

With the exception of Joss Whedon on The Avengers, Marvel has developed the habit of replacing directors in the Marvel Cinematic Universe whenever necessary, making it clear that its franchises will thrive regardless of who's directing. Warner Bros., on the other hand, has made Zack Snyder, a director with a very clear vision, its lead creative force at the moment, giving him Man of Steel and Batman vs. Superman. There's also been talk that part of Affleck's deal to play Batman also includes the promise that he would not only be able to direct the next Batman movie but also the eventual Justice League movie.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt to Produce, Possibly Star In and Direct 'Sandman' for Warner Bros. Reviewed by Bill Kuchman on 12/16/2013 Rating: 5

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