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DC Comics news: Gordon Levitt's "Sandman" film, and the end of "Animal Man"

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The latest dream inducing DC Comics related news items for December 14th - 16th, 2013!

Joseph Gordon-Levitt set to produce/direct/star in "The Sandman"!?

After a relatively quiet week for DC Entertainment, here comes a bombshell of a rumor. Deadline hears that Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who recently co-starred in "The Dark Knight Rises" among other films, is inking a deal to produce a "Sandman" film alongside screen writer David Goyer for Warner Brothers. Additional word is that Levitt may seek to direct and star in the picture himself. Apparently the actor is seeking to take a stab behind the camera as his career advances; his film for the Sundance Film Festival, "Don Jon", was well reviewed.

Warner Brothers and DC Comics have been seeking a film (or TV) adaptation of Neil Gaiman's classic Vertigo series ever since the original ended in 1996 (after a run of some seven years, two months and 75 issues). The series followed Morpheus, the lord of dreams, as well as his family (the Endless) as they sought to modernize their realm after being imprisoned for nearly a century. The series has been a persistent "evergreen" seller in trade collections ever since the mid 90's and is often considered to be among the best graphic novel runs of all time. By sheer coincidence, Gaiman has returned to DC Comics to write a new mini series, "Sandman: Overture", which debuted in October and features art by J.H. Williams III.

Warner Brothers and DC Entertainment are behind the ball, at best, with seeing a lot of success in their comic book film properties beyond Batman or Superman, but they still seem intent on properties which get critical appeal as much as commercial success. While Marvel Entertainment may offer up more "popcorn" style superhero films, perhaps DC Entertainment seeks to offer more "important" or "thought provoking" comic book adaptations. To that end, cracking "Sandman" makes logical sense.

Jeff Lemire pulls plug on "Animal Man"!

While the upcoming ends of "Talon" and "Li'l Gotham" had been known for some time, writer Jeff Lemire announced on his own blog that "Animal Man" would be ending in March. He states that issue 29 felt like an organic end for his run, and that he didn't wish to proceed further. The character will appear in "Justice League Canada" once Lemire starts it up. In addition, Lemire will draw "most" of the final issue himself.

"Animal Man" by Lemire was one of the few "New 52" launches that was well reviewed and has kept its starting writer for almost three years. A recent crossover with "Swamp Thing" and other books were less well received, and the overall sales trend for the book was a slow but steady decline. Thus, it makes sense to end it while things are ahead. DC Entertainment likely imagines reselling it as a finite collection will also make good commercial sense.

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