Warner Bros.' attempt to bring Neil Gaiman's The Sandman to the big screen has just cleared its first major hurdle. Empire Online is reporting that the DC comic adaptation has just hired a writer, and he's a pretty good one.
It looks like British screenwriter Jack Thorne is down to pen the script, while Joseph Gordon-Levitt is still on to produce AND potentially star and direct the live-action version of The Sandman. Thorne will reportedly be working off an original pitch developed by The Dark Knight Trilogy and Man of Steel co-writer David Goyer.
To US readers, Jack Thorne might not be a familiar name. In fact, British readers probably won't really recognize it either. However, Thorne is a BAFTA award-winning writer with an extremely impressive resume, including writing credits on the original British version of adolescent drama, Skins, and co-writing This Is England '86 and This is England '88 - both gritty and hard-hitting portrayals of urban poverty and social division in Northern England. He also broke out into feature films with the recently released How I Live Now.
The last we heard, Smallville and The Green Lantern writer, Geoff Johns, had been attached to script the project. It seems at some point DC and Warner Bros. changed their mind in favor of Thorne. Personally, I think that was a good move.
To those of you unfamiliar with the series, Sandman was a 75-issue DC/Vertigo comic book series which debuted in the 1990s. Writer Neil Gaiman provided his own one line synopsis for the series, stating: "The lord of dreams learns that one must change or die, and makes his decision."
Practically, The Sandman takes in a broad and sprawling story which delves into the word of serial killers, fantasy quests and other esoteric short stories. With this in mind, it's not exactly an easy concept to adapt for a feature film. Originally, The Sandman was expected to live on in a television adaption headed by Supernatural creator Eric Kripke, however at some point DC obviously felt the project could make bigger bucks in theaters.
What do you think? Are you a fan of The Sandman? Are you happy with this choice of writer? Let us know what you think below.