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'Sandman' movie won't have 'old ordinary cliches' -- or punching

Actor-producer Joseph Gordon-Levitt promises that his upcoming movie adaptation of Neil Gaiman's "Sandman" comic will not be a punch-'em-up action flick.

Don't expect Morpheus to smack people around in the upcoming movie.
DC Comics

Fans worried that Neil Gaiman's comic-book series " Sandman" will be turned into a violent superhero movie full of fight scenes and cliches can relax.

"Big, spectacular action movies are generally about crime fighters fighting crime and blowing shit up. This has nothing to do with that," joseph-gordon-levitt-producing-neil-gaiman-sandman-film Joseph Gordon-Levitt said Saturday in an MTV interview at Spike TV's Guys Choice Awards.

"And it was actually one of the things that Neil Gaiman said to me. He said, 'Don't have any punching.' Because he never does. If you read the comics, Morpheus doesn't punch anybody. That's not what he does," Gordon-Levitt said.

Unlike other graphic novels such as "Watchmen," the "Sandman" comics don't have a concise, linear story that is easy to adapt to film, instead featuring myth-like tales about dreams, fantasies and the nature of stories themselves. Published from 1989 to 1996, they attracted a young, largely female audience -- Darlene, from '90s sitcom "Roseanne," famously had a "Sandman" poster on her wall.

"It's a really complicated adaptation because those comics -- they're brilliant, but they're not written as a whole," Gordon-Levitt told MTV.

Working with Warner Bros., David Goyer (co-writer of Christopher Nolan's dark Batman films) and Gaiman himself, Gordon-Levitt promises that his version of the popular DC/Vertigo Comics title won't suffer from the usual blockbuster movie tropes. The series is officially set in the DC Comics universe, however, so may potentially feature other DC characters.

Best known for his roles in "The Dark Knight Rises" and "Inception," Gordon-Levitt is rumored to also be directing the film and possibly taking on the role of Morpheus, the eponymous Lord of Dreams.

"It's going to be like a grand, spectacular action film, but that relies on none of those same, old ordinary cliches," Gordon-Levitt said. "So, that's why it's taking a lot time to write, but it's going to be really good."