With Warner Bros. Pictures scheduling almost a dozen films based on DC Comics properties over the next few years, not all of them will necessarily be a part of the same cinematic universe.
One likely standalone work is the film adaptation of Neil Gaiman's acclaimed comic "Sandman" which Joseph Gordon-Levitt and David Goyer are involved with and Jack Thorne is adapting the script for. Levitt, who has been out promoting "Sin City: A Dame to Kill For," spoke with Moviefone recently and offered an update on how the project is going:
"Right now we're working on a script. It's me and Goyer and the screenwriter and Neil Gaiman, as well as the good folks at DC and Warner Bros. It's a really cool team of people. It's a lot of the same people who worked on the Nolan 'Batman' movies. It's really exciting.
There's not a script yet, we're still kind of working it out because it's such a complicated adaptation because 'Sandman' wasn't written as novels. 'Sin City' was written as a novel. 'Sandman' is 75 episodic issues. There's a reason people have been trying and failing to adapt 'Sandman' for the past 20 years."
Not just the length of the material, but the sheer complexity and breadth of the work is daunting to even the most confident storytellers. The 75 issue work boasts countless characters, constant genre crossing, often surreal elements and ambitious themes which all make it fascinating and challenging.
At last report, Levitt himself is considering directing the adaptation and the actor was asked if he had picked up any filmmaking tips from "Sin City" helmers Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez that would help tackling a comic book film like "Sandman":
"Very much so. And the green screen methodology of 'Sin City' - I wanted to see how Rodriguez handled that. Because on my show we do a lot of stuff on green screen and if you watch the show with 'Sin City' in mind, you'll see a commonality here in the approach to the filmmaking.
How we do it is we film the actors against a green screen and then put that footage up on the site and so animators and illustrators can contribute their graphics and it all gets stitched together to create the world around the actors. There's a short in the first episode that's mostly black-and-white with splashes of color and we only did that a few months after I finished on 'Sin City.'"
As for when "Sandman" will hit cinemas, it's hard to say at this point. The last rumor was Christmas 2016 but the better bet would be sometime in the following year.