There’s been a lot of talk recently about the long sought after adaptation for Neil Gaiman’s New York Times Best-selling graphic novel Sandman. The project is definitely getting some sturdy foundations with David S. Goyer producing and legendary young-looking actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt set to direct. When it comes to Sandman, for some people it’s been their obsession to get this adaptation off the ground, but for most people the reaction to the latest news is “I didn’t even like Sandman for the small amount of time he was on screen in Spider-Man 3“.
The goal here is to give you just enough information that you can successfully carry out a conversation about Sandman, but not so much that you sound like you’ve combed Wikipedia for tidbits. Also, it’s fun to learn right?
In a nutshell, Sandman is a contemporary dark fantasy tale concerning the character Dream, who is the lord of – you guessed it – dreams. He also goes by Morpheus, along with a whole string of other other names. But he ain’t no con-man, he is the personification of dreams.
It’s not hard to see why Gaiman wants Tom Hiddleston as a potential contender for Dream in the adaptation given how he looks more or less identical to Dream in Only Lovers Left Alive (as reported in Screen Crush). Benedict Cumberbatch is also a popular choice, after Gaiman saw him in Sherlock. Dream makes up one of seven magical beings known as the Endless, each of whom are physical representations of Death, Despair, Desire, Dream, Delerium, Destiny and Destruction. You see the pattern right?
The first major storyline in Sandman is Dream’s 70 year-long capture by an occult group during a ritual. Once he finally escapes and exacts revenge, Dream has to get his dream kingdom up and running again because…well imagine if you didn’t clean your house for 70 years.
Dream is a tragic hero of sorts, in that he’s all about learning the error of his formerly cruel ways and putting right what once he buggered up. Considering he’s been around for a few billion years. Dream goes about meeting back up with the other Endless, each with their own deity-esque quirks.
What starts as a dark comic horror quickly becomes a fantasy epic. Gaiman adds in a whole bunch of myths, legends and occult history to give the storyline some real meat.
As opposed to being about dreams, the storylines are composed like incoherent dreams, so the surroundings are surreal while the plot is strong and deliberate.
The series ran from 1988 to 1996, and is available in ten paperback collections along with larger, higher quality Absolute Editions.
So, feel ready for the adaptation?
I’ve read a lot of chat-room posts suggesting that Joseph Gordon-Levitt should walk off the edge of a very tall building, but somehow I don’t think this is what they had in mind. Gordon-Levitt will be playing Phillipe Petit, the only man to ever walk between the World Trade Centre buildings on a high wire, in The Walk.
The feature will be directed by Robert Zemeckis, who was behind Back to the Future, Cast Away and Flight, so Phillipe Petit is in the safest of hands. We now have a trailer for the biopic, which at 2 minutes might seem a little long for a teaser. But it doesn’t give any more away than it should, and leaves you feeling dizzy. Have a look, courtesy of Sony Pictures:
The Walk also stars Sir Ben Kingsley as Phillipe’s mentor Papa Rudy, along with James Badge Dale, Ben Schwartz, Charlotte Le Bon, Clément Sibony and César Domboy. The film will be showcased in Imax 3D which promises to brilliantly vertigo-inducing.
So, does The Walk look on the up and up?