Big news if you're a Neil Gaiman fan or even just someone that got into comics because of the man: Hollywood Reporter's Heat Vision Blog reported on Wednesday that Warner Brothers has optioned Gaiman's Sandman comics for a tv series. The series is, at present, scheduled to be helmed by Supernatural creator Eric Kripke.
This is a story that's been a long time coming. Originally, Gaiman's seminal comic series was supposed to be turned into a movie in the mid-'90s. Warner Brothers had the rights and word was Killing Zoe director Roger Avary would direct with a script from Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio, who later co-wrote Small Soldiers and the first and second Pirates of the Caribbean sequels. But the project never happened, partially because Gaiman thought the script he was handed, after numerous rewrites, was terrible. According to Wikipedia, the script was so bad, it was partially responsible for Gaiman's decision to give up writing stories about Morpheus, the titular King of Dreams, and the Endless, his immortal family.
Before Kripke, who has a very good reputation (never seen Supernatural but have read very positive things everywhere from the intanetz to academic texts), Sandman was supposedly set to be turned into an HBO show with James Mangold involved but the project stalled terminally and now Kripke's got his shot.
While the news has me piqued (Sandman was one of the big tiles that helped me get back into comics in middle school alongside Stormwatch and Preacher), I really have to adopt the wait-and-see approach. If Kripke's adaptation fails, it'll be a League of Extraordinary Gentlemen-sized failure. If it succeeds, even modestly, it will be the next big thing. But again: it may not even get that far. Fingers crossed and all but I'm not holding my breath. In all likelihood, we'll see the film version of Death: The High Cost of Living, a spin-off comic Gaiman wrote featuring Dream's sister Death, that Gaiman has been working on for years now. But even that is a bit iffy.