The Dark Knight Rises star Joseph Gordon-Levitt is jumping from the DC movieverse to a more Vertigo live action landscape. Deadline reports that the 32-year-old actor and director is "finalizing a deal" to team with Dark Knight trilogy co-writer David S. Goyer to co-produce a Sandman film at Warner Bros., based on the 75-issue comic book series and its spinoffs written by Neil Gaiman and illustrated by artists including Sam Kieth, Mike Dringenberg, Jill Thompson, Shawn McManus, Marc Hempel, Michael Zulli and Dave McKean. What's more, Gordon-Levitt has confirmed on Twitter that he'll star as Sandman protagonist, Dream, the immortal physical manifestation of dreaming who works to reestablish his role in reality after escaping a 70-year imprisonment at the hands of human occultists.

Badass Digest had the initial scoop for this news back in November, and the details regarding Gordon-Levitt's level of involvement are just now firming up. No writer has been named for the potential project thus far, but given that Goyer wrote the Blade trilogy, co-wrote The Dark Knight trilogy, and worked on Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, Man of Steel and its upcoming sequel (Batman Vs. Superman?), it seems likely that he could lend his pen to this potential Sandman adaptation as well.

The film's exact plot has yet to be announced, but Gordon-Levitt's #Preludes hashtag on Twitter is a pretty obvious nod to Sandman Vol. 1 "Preludes & Nocturnes." Since the scope of the Sandman mythos extends well beyond its first volume, there's also an implication that this could be the first of many Sandman films.

This project will be the second director's credit for Gordon-Levitt, who recently directed and starred in Don Jon (alongside Scarlett "Black Widow" Johansson) and is also still set to star in Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller's Sin City: A Dame To Kill For in 2014.

This isn't the first time a Sandman movie has come close to being made, although it may be the most serious effort to date. Jill Thompson illustrated a series of 27 watercolors depicting scenes from the comic book series which were use in a movie pitch in the mid '90s and both James Mangold and Eric Kripke have tried, unsuccessfully, their hands at adapting the series for television. Lending a bit of extra credence to this latest development is the fact that Hank Kanalz, SVP Vertigo and Integrated Publishing for DC Entertainment, has Tweeted a link to Deadline's report.

Sandman recently returned to comics with the release of The Sandman Overture #1 by Gaiman and artist J.H. Williams III, which serves as a prequel to the original series. Issue #2 currently awaits release with a planned February debut, following delays.

Gaiman is yet to comment, although this news will surely have his nearly 2 million Twitter followers on high alert.

[Via Deadline]

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