It's a sad day for comic book fans who were looking forward to a movie adaptation of one of the most beloved titles ever, Sandman, with Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who had fans of the series almost universally applauding when they first heard he would direct and star in the movie more than two years ago.
Gordon-Levitt hopped on Facebook today to do a rare thing in Hollywood—explain why he was leaving the project that was still in development. Maybe it's because this one was especially tough to let go of, and maybe it's because he felt he owed it to fans who've been hanging on to every rare scrap of info about the project.
The announcement from Gordon-Levitt on those creative differences comes just a day after The Hollywood Reporter wrote that the film had finally found a writer (putting to bed speculation that Sandman creator and writer Neil Gaiman might pen the screenplay). If you didn't catch that news at the time, Eric Heisserer, who has written mostly horror scripts (Final Destination 5, the remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street and The Thing) will write the script for Sandman, based on a treatment by David S. Goyer, who has writing credits on all of Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy.
With Sandman off the table, it's unclear when we'll see Gordon-Levitt direct again, something people have been anticipating since his promising debut behind the camera with Don Jon. As Collider points out, though, he's definitely busy. There's the just-announced historical drama about the KKK for Amazon, K-Troop, and an R-rated musical collaboration with his BFF Channing Tatum.
The original Sandman series by DC imprint Vertigo ran for 75 issues from 1989 to 1996, with two later series, The Sandman: The Dream Hunters and Sandman: Overture, which concluded in 2015, adding another 10 issues. It has yet to be revealed how the movie would approach such an epic story.