MTV News caught up with Joseph Gordon-Levitt at the Spike TV’s Guys Choice Awards on Saturday night. An MTV corresponded spoke with the 34-year-old actor, director, producer, and writer about his current project, developing the screenplay for the film adaptation of The Sandman comic books.
Written by Neil Gaiman, The Sandman is an American comic book series published by DC Comics. The series spans from 1989 to the present. There are three different volumes to the franchise: The Sandman (1989-1996), The Sandman: The Dream Hunters (2009), and The Sandman: Overture (2013-Present).
There are over 80 issues of these dark fantasy stories, leaving Gordon-Levitt to the seemingly impossible task of creating one holistic screenplay depicting the story of the main character, Morpheus. Gordon-Levitt explains:
It’s a really complicated adaptation because these comics, they are brilliant, but they are not written as a whole. Sandman was written over the course of six or seven years, one at a time, one little 24-page issue at a time. And to try to take that and make it into something that is a feature film, a movie that has a beginning, middle and end is complicated.
Gordon-Levitt reassures that the process is “really good… slow but steady” and that patience is key.
Although he cannot discus which volumes will be included, Gordon-Levitt did share that this action movie will diverge from the popular superhero blockbusters. He explains that this movie will not follow the typical formula including fight scenes and explosions. However, Gordon-Levitt is himself no stranger to the world of comic book super heroes where fight scenes and explosions are commonplace. He played John Blake, a Robin-type figure in The Dark Knight Rises film.
Gordon-Levitt said that as he discussed his writing process with Neil Gaiman, the comic book author expressed his wishes for the main character, Morpheus. Gaiman specifically stated, “Don’t have him punch anybody.” Gordon-Levitt revealed that he would have never dared to portray Morpheus as a ‘fighter’ because “if you read the comics, Morpheus doesn’t punch anybody, that’s not what he does.” Don’t panic though, Gordon-Levitt assures that “It’s going to be a grand, spectacular action film” nonetheless.
He gushes that he is “feeling really good about it, but it’s a process.” “It’s going to be really good.”