Neil Gaiman
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Neil
I read you were originally offered the Spirit Stallion of the Cimarron Script before John Fusco. Is that correct? When was that? Why did you turn it down? Was it called Spirit then?

Not true. The animated movie Dreamworks asked me to do was the Ramayana, for which I did about five treatments before Dreamworks said that they were going to wait and see how Spirit did before seeing if they were doing more 2D (traditional) animation. I imagine Spirit must have disappointed them, for that was the last I heard from Dreamworks.



Have you ever read Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K Jerome? If so, what did ye think?

Sid Kakar

Yes, I've read it a few times. I think the funny bits are still very funny, but find the sad bits stranger now -- the body of the dead girl, for example.



Dear Neil,
For several years a friend and I have talked about making a short film based on your short story "Hold Me" from Hellblazer. I have read various FAQs from people wanting to make films of your work, and the issues of copyright. From these I believe that I have learnt that if we wanted to make a movie of that story with John Constantine as the main character, we would have to get copyright permission from DC / WB publishing?
However, and this is a long (hopeful) shot; would I be correct in saying DC owns the copyright to Constantine, and you own the copyright to the actual story - or are the two inseparably linked?
If the two can be separated I would like to ask permission from you, to make a short film, based on your story, changing the main character's name? I hope this doesn't cause any offence; we just love the story, and would like to test our artistic skills in putting it on the screen.
We have no intention or inclination to make any money from the film; it's just something we've always wanted to do, from a personal satisfaction stand point.
As a closing note, I would like to thank you for all of the years of pleasure your work has given to so many of us.
>From an Englishman in Texas,
Wayne Cowley.

and

Hello Mr Gaiman,
I have question regarding copyright.
For my end of year degree film project i want to tell the story of The Sandman, The Wake 70/71/72 it is for my portfolio and if of a good standard i hope to submit it into Student film festivals.
Do i need your permission or do Vertigo/DC Comics hold the copyright i'm getting really confused and don't want to make anyone mad by not getting permission.
I want to share my love of the Endless, i figured as you had let so many artist produce there vision of the characters you would not mind if i shared my interpretation.
Thank you for not becoming an accountant and showing me that even the seemingly unreachable goals are possible if you try.
See you in the Worlds End
Yours Sincerely Miss Karen Penman,
Canvey Island, Essex, England

Which are fairly representative...

No, I don't control any of the rights to any of the stuff I did for DC Comics -- Sandman, Hellblazer, or anything (except Mr Punch and Stardust). DC Comics does.

If you try and get the rights to do a student film, they will say no. This is because all those rights are already tied up, and DC Comics no longer has those rights to grant, not because they are being mean.

If you want to try and find someone at Warner Brothers who will grant you the rights to do these things as student films, good luck. I've seen many people try and get them over the years, and no-one yet succeed. But I think, judging by watching people spend literally years trying to get Warners to agree to let them make a Sandman film, you're probably better off doing something else as a student film. If your heart is set on it, then become a wonderful director, and in a few years time, with a successful film or so under your belt, in the middle of a meeting with some Warner Bros high ups, say "... well, yes, I suppose I could remake Gone With the Wind for you. But really, I'd love to make Sandman." And maybe it will work.