One of the very things that makes comics storytelling so so appealing is a hurdle to getting the upcoming Sandman adaptation off the ground quickly, according to producer and rumored star Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
"They've been trying. There's been drafts of Sandman scripts. I was talking to Neil Gaiman about this and he said, 'I've read so many Sandman scripts!' For decades! For the last 20 years, there's been different tries and the reason is Sandman is a series of comics," Levitt told IGN. "Each issue is 24 pages and it's written that way. As a serial, kind of more episodic thing. If you examine it from the broad strokes, there is sort of a beginning, middle and end, but it was written in such this episodic way. It's not like adapting a graphic novel. Like Watchmen is a book. This isn't that, so it really takes quite a bit of creativity and ingenuity to figure out, okay, how can we take all these kind of disparate episodes and make them congeal into a movie – a feature film that's got a beginning, middle and end."
Of course, word at one point was that they were going to simply adapt a portion of the series and hope for sequels to flesh the rest of the story out. It could be that's true and Levitt simply didn't want to speak to it publicly before there's even a finished first script -- or it could be that effort was one of the various iterations Gaiman has read, which never saw fruition.