The big-screen adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s Sandman has had a lot of issues getting going, most recently when the project’s biggest champion and possible star Joseph Gordon-Levitt suddenly dropped out. He said at the time that he and the studio—New Line Cinema—simply couldn’t “see eye to eye” about what the film could be or should be, so he figured it was best to just leave altogether. Weirdly, Gordon-Levitt’s announcement came right alongside news from New Line that it had hired a new screenwriter for the Sandman film, with the timing seeming to imply that this new guy—Eric Heisserer—would do whatever it was that Gordon-Levitt didn’t agree with.
Now, though, Heisserer has also dropped out of the Sandman film, explaining that he also doesn’t think it’s going to work as the movie that New Line wants it to be. That comes from io9, which quotes Heisserer as saying that “the best version of this property exists as an HBO series or limited series, not as a feature film, not even as a trilogy.” He says that he did everything he could with the script, handed it in to New Line, and told them that “this isn’t where it should be. It needs to go to TV.” He also shares some more details on the timing of his hiring, revealing that Gordon-Levitt had “quietly left” the film months before he had come on, meaning it wasn’t quite as suspicious as it seemed.
The io9 story says New Line refused to comment, but it looks like the whole Sandman movie could be in jeopardy now.
[Note: io9, like The A.V. Club, is owned by Univision Communications.]