An extract on #vaporplus
Throughout the late 1990s, a film adaptation of the comic was periodically planned by Warner Bros., parent company of DC Comics. Roger Avary was originally attached to direct after the success of Pulp Fiction, collaborating with Pirates of the Caribbean screenwriters Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio in 1996 on a revision of their first script draft, which merged the "Preludes and Nocturnes" storyline with that of "The Doll's House." Avary intended the film to be in part visually inspired by animator Jan vankmajer's work. Avary was fired after disagreements over the creative direction with executive producer Jon Peters, best known for Batman and Superman Lives. It was due to their meeting on the Sandman film project that Avary and Gaiman collaborated one year later on the script for Beowulf. The project carried on through several more writers and scripts. A later draft by William Farmer, reviewed at Ain't It Cool News, was met with scorn from fans. Gaiman called the last screenplay that Warner Bros. would send him "not only the worst Sandman script I've ever seen, but quite easily the worst script I've ever read." Gaiman has said that his dissatisfaction with how his characters were being treated had dissuaded him from writing any more stories involving the Endless, although he has since written Endless Nights.
By 2001, the project had become stranded in development hell. In a Q&A panel at Comic-Con 2007, Gaiman remarked, "I'd rather see no Sandman movie made than a bad Sandman movie. But I feel like the time for a Sandman movie is coming soon. We need someone who has the same obsession with the source material as Peter Jackson had with Lord of the Rings or Sam Raimi had with Spider-Man." That same year, he stated that he could imagine Terry Gilliam as a director for the adaptation: "I would always give anything to Terry Gilliam, forever, so if Terry Gilliam ever wants to do Sandman then as far as I'm concerned Terry Gilliam should do Sandman." In 2013, DC President Diane Nelson said that a Sandman film would be as rich as the Harry Potter universe. David S. Goyer announced in an interview in early December that he would be producing an adaptation of the graphic novel, alongside Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Neil Gaiman. Jack Thorne was hired to write the script. On October 16, 2014, Gaiman clarified that while the film was not announced with the DC slate by Warner Bros., it would instead be distributed by Vertigo and announced with those slate of films. Goyer told Deadline.com in an interview that the studio was very happy with the film's script. According to Deadline.com, the film was to be distributed by New Line Cinema. In October 2015, Goyer revealed that a new screenwriter was being brought on board to revise the script by Jack Thorne and stated that he believed the film would go into production the following year. In March 2016, The Hollywood Reporter revealed that Eric Heisserer was hired to rewrite the film's script. The next day, Gordon-Levitt announced that he had dropped out due to disagreements with the studio over the creative direction of the film. On November 9, 2016, i09 reported that Heisserer had turned in his draft of the script but left the film, stating that the film should be an HBO series instead.
On June 26, 2017, a 30 min fan film was released based on Issue #6: 24 Hours, entitled Sandman: 24 Hour Diner