Joseph Gordon-Levitt on Why Sandman Is Better As A Film and More


Joseph Gordon-Levitt (The Dark Knight Rises) went on Reddit to celebrate the second season of his Television Series hitRECORD by doing an AMA (Ask Me Anything) session where he discusses various things with fans. A couple of fans asked questions about his adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s Sandman in which he was happy to answer.

Thanks for taking your time to answer our questions.


Two quick questions on your Sandman adaptation:

  1. What would you say is the most difficult aspect of translating Sandman to the big screen?
  2. Given the large scope and episodic nature of would you say it is best suited for a big screen adaptation, or would a small screen adaptation fit the bill better.

I think a big screen adaptation is a better idea and here’s why. If you did the episodic version, I think it could very well end up as a not-as-good-version of what is already brilliant in the comics. But by reworking the material into a big movie, Gaiman’s brilliant characters and ideas get to take shape in a way they never have before. Also, I think Sandman deserves to look absolutely mind-blowingly awesome, just on a visual level, and as cinematic as some tv shows are becoming these days, they still can’t compete with big movies visually, just because they can’t afford to.

He was asked by another user about Sandman as well


Hey JGL! Glad to see you return and I had two long winded-ish questions for you.

First, I’m a huge fan of Neil Gaiman’s Sandman saga and cannot wait to see how you get this project to the masses. Besides a lack of fist fights, is there anything about your adaptation you can share? I know you got a ways to go to get to A Game of You, but to me it seems like that story in particular would be a nightmare to successfully pitch to the studio (main franchise character basically just has a cameo, female lead, trans issues, etc.). Either way, you can bet I’ll be rooting for you the whole way on that massive undertaking.

Secondly, I saw you done some screenplay work and I was wondering if you have any advice for first time writers. Been working on a story for the last few years now that I haven’t come back to for either writer’s block or that feeling of dread that no one will ever read or care what it is you have to say. Any personal experience combating those shitty thoughts?

Either way, looking forward to whatever you have on the horizon. You have yet to disappoint.

Yeah, there’s tons of little brilliant moments throughout the series, and we certainly can’t incorporate all of them. We are using a whole bunch of specifics straight from the comics, but of course, we’re also having to do a certain amount of invention, and in between that, there’s tons of re-appropriating, re-contextualizing, combining, consolidating, and all manner of things that literalists might not like. But what we try to be completely faithful about is the overall sentiment: that Dreams and Stories and Magic are actually all the same thing, and that they’re real, and that they’re powerful.

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