Neil Gaiman Explains 'Sandman' Absence From DC Movie Slate

When Warner Bros. announced a ten-film slate of DC Comics films last week, taking the studio all the way to 2020, you might have noticed one big omission. There was no Sandman, which we know Joseph Gordon-Levitt has been developing over much of 2014. But worry not (or continue to worry, if you're afraid of the film), as Sandman creator Neil Gaiman says things are still moving along, and that we can expect another announcement. In short, Sandman isn't part of the DC movie slate, because it is part of the Vertigo movie slate. 

On Tumblr, Gaiman was asked about Sandman's absence in DC movie calendar, and he responded succinctly.

It's not a DC Comics film. It's a Vertigo film. That's a different slate of films, and a different announcement.

(Quick background: Vertigo is DC's long-running sub-label generally reserved for comic series that are specifically creator-oriented, and/or mature in theme and content, and specifically with supernatural leanings. In the case of Sandman, all those conditions apply. Vertigo was minted in 1993 and overseen for 20 years by editor Karen Berger.)

Gaiman's statement is pretty interesting for a few reasons. One is that Sandman might not cross over with the more mainstream superhero stuff. For the time being, that's probably very good. And then there's the suggestion that multiple Vertigo movies are in the offing.

Guillermo del Toro has been talking up Dark Universe, aka Justice League Dark for a while, and that would almost certainly fall under the Vertigo banner. And given what WB and DC are doing with the superhero slate, perhaps we can expect a couple other movies to join them. GDT has said "I love the entire Constantine mythology, the Deadman mythology, the Alex Holland Swamp Thing mythology." That's a set of three characters that we could potentially see established and/or rebooted on film before the team-up movie. 

There are already three Vertigo-related shows coming to television: Constantine, which premieres this Friday October 24, and then Lucifer, in development with Californication creator/exec producer Tom Kapinos, and Preacher, in development at AMC from Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg. Obviously Constantine could also be part of Justice League Dark, and Lucifer could well be seen in Sandman. WB and DC have demonstrated that they have no problem creating multiple versions of characters for film and television.