This afternoon I had a chance to get on the phone with Neil Gaiman to talk about the upcoming Stardust, but of course I couldn’t resist asking about the adaptation of Death: The High Cost of Living, which he’s directing, and which Guillermo del Toro is executive producing.
‘I’m going to go off and spend a few weeks with Guillermo in Prague, [where he's shooting Hellboy 2’ Neil told me, ‘shadowing him, learning everything I can learn in a few weeks from Guillermo about his attitude and so and so forth.’
What I was really curious about was whether he’s planning Death as a way of introducing the Sandman universe and mythology. When I asked him, Neil was a little vague. ‘It’s going to be Death: The High Cost of Living… only longer,’ he said. ‘If you shot Death: The High Cost of Living frame by frame, you’d have about a 40 minute film. This will be like that, only twice as many things will happen.’
You’ll remember that Death is one of the members of the Endless, a group of anthropomorphic personifications of concepts like Desire, Despair, and Dream (that would Sandman). The Endless don’t appear in the comic, which is about Death taking human form for 24 hours every century; in the story Death meets a suicidal boy and teaches him to love life. If the movie will be the Death comic, there wouldn’t be any Endless (although there would be characters from the Sandman mythos) – but if he’s doubling the amount of ‘things’ that happen, he could very well drop in a reference or a cameo.
Look for the full interview next week.