I'm just going to put this out there: Neil Gaiman is one of my favorite living authors. From his mature work on Sandman and American Gods to the more kid-friendly stuff like Coraline and The Day I Swapped My Dad for...
Back in March, Hubert covered a plethora of films forever stuck in development hell during his week of Tales from Development Hell coverage. One film adaptation that was covered was for Neil Gaiman's remarkable Sandman. For those unfamiliar with Sandman, the graphic novel series follows the journey of Dream and his re-emergence as the ruler of dreams after an unexplained capture.
Mixed with Gaiman's phenomenal writing and a bevy of rotating artists as the series went on, Sandman is one of the most heralded graphic novels alongside Watchmen and The Dark Knight Returns. Of course, with an extensive 75-issue run, it's no surprise that such a large story would find problems in any film adaptation. Despite that, Gaiman and one of the Sandman artists (and famed local Chicagoan) Jill Thompson created some concept art for a few Warner Bros. heads during the early 90's. The artwork recently emerged and are being sold through the Cadence Comic Art web store.
As much of a fan as I am of both Sandman and film adaptations, this is one I'm glad that never came to fruition (nor ever will, fingers crossed). Even a TV series would be hard to conceptualize, given the series' reliance on the ever-changing, always interesting artwork. At least we'll be seeing some Gaiman novel adaptations in the near future, right?
I'm not as big a fan of The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman as I am of his other works. It's entertaining enough, don't get me wrong, but it's just a bit flat, given the potential for cool storytelling out of a main charac...
[This week we'll be looking at a few movies mentioned in Tales from Development Hell by David Hughes (Titan Books). The recently released book chronicles the arduous and at times absurd development process that films go through, often leading to that unfortunate limbo known as "development hell." Look out for our spotlight on Tales from Development Hell tomorrow.]
One of the most celebrated comics series of all time is Neil Gaiman's Sandman. It's proven difficult to make into a film, however. (Given the fate of Hellblazer's John Constantine, maybe it's for the best.) Gaiman's likened the adaptation process to cutting up a baby and shoving it into a little box full of meat. One of the head butchers was producer Jon "Giant Spider in the Third Act" Peters.
Two early attempts Gaiman liked: one from Ted Elliott & Terry Rossio (Aladdin), another from Roger Avary (The Rules of Attraction) that tweaked the previous team's screenplay. Elliott and Rossio's script was deemed undeliverable, though Elliott suggests it was booted because they refused to incorporate Peters's suggestion that Morpheus be captured by teenagers holding a séance at a slumber party. Avary was dumped when he suggested that the dream sequences in the film resemble Rosemary's Baby and the work of Jan Svankmajer.
Perhaps the most well-known Sandman adaptation is the one from Jonah Hex-screenwriter William Farmer. Peters and the studio liked it, but the screenplay was savaged online. Tied to fears of the then-impending millennium and featuring major deviations from the story (Lucifer and The Corinthian are Morpheus's brothers; Morpheus has a sister called Love instead of Death), perhaps the worst aspect of the unmade screenplay is the ending: it's all just a dream.
In the Philadelphia City Paper, Gaiman described the Farmer's screenplay as "nonsensical, poorly written trash," and proclaimed it "easily the worst script I've ever read." Farmer said that while he did mangle the source material, "I never really considered it 'my script.' It was a big monster written by committee." David Hughes shares some thoughts after the cut.
Only half of the happy couple was able to join us on this episode of Get Your Flix. There was quite a lot of rambling on interesting subjects but not exactly what we planned. And if you are wondering about our header ima...
It seems like Tom Hanks' production company, Playtone, is keeping busy these days. Following the news of Playtone producing the American Idiot film adaptation, they're shifting their attention to the literary field. Earlier, ...
On April 13th, 2011, Neil Gaiman graced the University of Chicago with his presence for my great city's public library initiative, One Book One Chicago. The basic premise for 1B1C, as it's colloquially known as, is to inspire the city to read a selected novel every quarter. This spring's selection was Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere.
To commemorate the selection, Gaiman took part in two reading events, the last event being the one I attended. Following a reading of some of his favorite passages from Neverwhere, the floor was opened for fan questions. Amidst the in flux of questions ranging Gaiman's illustrious career (including, but not limited to, MirrorMask, American Gods, Sandman, Doctor Who, and The Graveyard Book), I was lucky to throw in a Flixist-related question.
The most promising quote was in regards to the possibility of a Neverwhere film: "There's a lot of chance of a Neverwhere movie getting made. [...] One day, I hope. There's a lot of talk about it." Below the cut, you'll see my thoughts on a potential Neverwhere adaptation.