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Comic Book News: Captain America, The Sandman and Preacher

/film dropped an interesting article on the upcoming Marvel superhero film Captain America. In interview with CBR, director Joe Johnston spoke about how Captain America: The First Avenger would tie into the other Marvel films.

“There are links between all the Marvel films, mostly ones that only the fans will pick up on. We have several subtle references to certain elements in Thor, but since Captain America is a period picture taking place in the 40’s, there are fewer opportunities for contemporary links to the rest of the Marvel universe. We can, however, create events in our story that will be paid off in Avengers and other Marvel pictures.”

The second bit of comic book news revolves around The Sandman, Neil Gaiman-penned comic book series. According to the Hollywood Reporter Warner Bros. TV is in the midst of acquiring television rights from sister company DC Entertainment and in talks with several writer-producers about adapting the 1990s comic. At the top of the list is Eric Kripke, creator of the CW’s horror-tinged Supernatural.

The Sandman is truly the cream of the crop when it comes to Vertigo books. Neil Gaiman’s work on the series is considered legendary for a reason. The Sandman issue #19 A Midsummer Night’s Dream won the World Fantasy Award in 1991 for Best Short Fiction. Also, Sandman and its spin-offs have won eighteen Eisner Awards, including three for Best Continuing Series, one for Best Short Story, four for Best Writer (Neil Gaiman), seven for Best Lettering (Todd Klein) and one for Best Graphic Album:Reprint.

The Sandman: The Dream Hunters was nominated for the Hugo Award for Best Related Book in 2000. Both Endless Nights and The Dream Hunters won the Bram Stoker Award for Best Illustrated Narrative, in 2004 and 2000 respectively.

There have already been a few attempts to turn the famous comic series into a movie. Roger Avary was originally attached to direct a film adaptation after the success of Pulp Fiction. He was reported to collaborate with Pirates of the Caribbean screenwriters Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio in 1996 on script revisions. The idea was to merge three keys stories from the Sandman universe – Preludes, Nocturnes and The Doll’s House. Avary who intended the film to be in part visually inspired by animator Jan Švankmajer’s work was fired after disagreements over the creative direction with executive producer Jon Peters. Ever since there have been several scripts that have circulated online nut none have found success in making it to the big screen. 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.

Unfortunately I have to say that Erik Kripke is not the man for this project. Let’s hope this production falls through and a true visionary like Guillermo del Toro takes over.

In the latest issue of Total Film Magazine, producer Neil Moretz discussed the development of the movie adaptation of Preacher, the 75 issue comic book series written by Garth Ennis. He confirmed that the film would be rated R and swears that the script is “a really faithful adaptation but made more accessible to a broader audience.” Finally he mentioned that “Another unnamed director has apparently signed on.” but never mentioned any specific name. Rumors are currently pointing to John August ( The Nines) but A-Team director Joe Carnahan has said he would like a shot. Personally Carnahan would make a great candidate based on his highly under-rated gritty cop movie  Narc.