Producer and possible star/director Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s Sandman comic book series moves a little closer to reality this week with the news, via Deadline, that Jack Thorne is now on board to develop the script. Thorne may be best-known as an established writer for TV in the U.K., with a prior work that includes Skins, The Fades, Cast Offs, and This is England. It’s a background that should serve him well as he carves Gaiman’s epic tale into something more manageable for the big screen. Thorne will be working off a story treatment developed by Gordon-Levitt’s co-producer David Goyer, who also happens to be an accomplished screenwriter.
This is just the latest incarnation of a Sandman adaptation for screens large and small. Many have tried, all have failed. Gordon-Levitt’s take first surfaced in December 2013, when it was announced that he’d produce with Goyer for Warner Bros. Gaiman serves as executive producer on the project, likely to help Goyer – and possibly now, Thorne as well – wrangle the complicated story into a two-hour format. There’s little doubt that Warner sees franchise potential here, especially since Gaiman continues to produce fiction within the Sandman universe.