Will produce, with eye toward directing and starring…

Deadline’s Mike Fleming is hearing that Joseph Gordon-Levitt and screenwriter David S. Goyer are near to closing deals to produce a big screen adaptation of the Neil Gaiman comic book classic ‘The Sandman.’

Gordon-Levitt, who recently made his feature directorial debut with ‘Don Jon,’ is also said to be eyeing the project as a possible directing and starring vehicle. Gaiman, who authored the seminal work, will serve as executive producer.

Published by the DC Comics imprint Vertigo between 1989 and 1996, the extremely popular series centred on Dream, also known as Morpheus, Onieros and many other names, the anthropomorphic personification of dreams. After being held captive for 70 years, Dream escapes, avenges himself upon his captors, and sets about rebuilding his crumbling kingdom.

The adaptation is based on a treatment penned by Goyer.