Trying to protect your novel or comic from the vultures working in Hollywood must be hard work for any writer. While a writer may anticipate a call from Tinseltown, the prospect of a movie studio slaughtering his work must inspire an equivalent level of trepidation. Unlike writing which is, for the most part, a solitary endeavor, film is a collaborative medium. If an author decides to opt for their novel or comic to become a movie, they must also negotiate an executive producer credit. Otherwise, all of their hard work could easily be undone by a tyrannical producer who, for the sake of argument, wants to incorporate a giant mechanical spider into their beloved project.
Apparently, Jon Peters, the producer behind Kevin Smith’s famous Superman story, was almost responsible for directing Neil Gaiman. Sand seller from page to screen. When Peters gave a copy of the film’s script to Gaiman, the legendary scribe decided to sabotage the project by leaking the script to Aint It Cool News.com.
“It was the worst script I’ve ever read,” Gaiman said in an interview with Rolling Stone.
“A guy from Jon Peters’ office called me up and said, ‘So Neil, did you get a chance to read the script we sent you?’ And I said, “Well, yeah. Yes, I have read it. I haven’t read it all, but I’ve read enough.” He said, “So pretty good. Huh?” And I said, “Well, no. It really isn’t.” He said, “Oh, come on. There must have been stuff in there that you liked.” I said, “There was nothing in there that I liked. There was nothing in there that I liked. It was the worst scenario I have ever read. It’s not just Sandman’s worst-case scenario. It was the worst scenario I have ever read. never been sent.'”
Gaiman added, “I don’t know if it would have been an action movie or quite what it would have been. It was a mess. It never got better than a mess.”
Detailing the “really dumb” ideas in Peters’ script, Gaiman explained, “There were giant mechanical spiders in it…Lucifer, Morpheus, and Corinthian were identical triplets. They were an identical sibling family, and it was quite a race to see who could get the ruby, helm, and sandbag before midnight in 1999, before the start of the new millennium, because whoever got it would be the winner. [via Variety]