When Warner Bros announced its large, large calendar of movies based on DC superheroes (and villains), there was one movie that as curiously absent โ€” the adaptation of Neil Gaiman's Sandman, which supposedly Joseph Gordon-Levitt was already in talks to star and direct. What gives?

Neil Gaiman explained the deal on his blog last week: "It's not a DC Comics film. It's a Vertigo film. That's a different slate of films, and a different announcement."

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Now, this seems like the most straightforward answer ever, but there's a bit to read between the lines. 1) Obviously Warner Bros. wants to keep the separation of movies based on DC's superheroes and films based on its Vertigo titles separate. This is good, because it seems to indicate that Sandman's Endless won't be part of the DC cinematic universe, thank goodness. If nothing else, this mean no Warner Bros. executive will be tempted to make a movie where Dream joins the Justice League to help fight Starro or something. (You know it would happen eventually.) 2) Also, "a different slate of films" indicates that Warner Bros. has more than one movie based on a Vertigo comic planned, and honestly, Neil Gaiman is likely in the position to know.

Now I may be over-extrapolating here, but I think if WB feels they need to brand some comic book movies with a different imprint, so to speak โ€” just like the comics โ€” then they should also feel they have the freedom to allow the Vertigo movies to be darker, more adult, more violent/sexy/crazy/etc., and even less comic book-y, if need be. I mean, if they were going to make Sandman and 100 Bullets and whatnot PG-13 like all the superheroes movies, why bother establishing a separate label for them?

Again, I may be reading too much into it. But I still say Warner Bros. keeping its DC and Vertigo movies separate can only be a good thing for fans.

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[Via Comic Book Resources]