I'll bet Neil Gaiman was a fan of “The Fades.”
I would bet an equal amount that Jack Thorne is a big fan of “Sandman.”
Well, Warner Bros just got all “You got my chocolate in my peanut butter!” when they hired Jack Thorne to write the screenplay for the in-development feature film version of one of the greatest comic stories ever told.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt is attached to star in the film, and he's producing the movie with David Goyer. According to Deadline, Goyer's pitch for the film is what Thorne will be working from as he tries to crack a project that any number of writers have failed at for over 15 years now.
If you want to read the second draft of the Terry Rossio/Ted Elliott approach to the film, it's online at their website, complete with an intro about their time working on the film. If you want to read my take on the William Farmer draft that pretty much derailed the development of the film, you can.
Jack Thorne's “The Fades” is described this way on the Hulu Plus page where you can watch the complete run of the show right now:
Seventeen-year-old Paul is haunted by apocalyptic dreams. Worse still, Paul is starting to see the Fades, spirits of the dead, all around him. The fate of humanity now rests in his hands.
There is a complex mythology running through the six episodes that juggles a fantastical world of magic and a fairly straightforward world in modern London. I've only seen the first few, but I can see immediately why he would be the choice. He's going to have a very easy time building something that retains Neil Gaiman's voice but that works as a film, first and foremost.
It's still way too early to be excited or not excited about this one, since theres no guarantee it will finally happen now. But at least they've got an interesting writer attached to try to make it work.