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Exclusive! Dario Argento talks “THE SANDMAN” and Indiegogo campaign, plus poster

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Italian maestro Dario Argento is returning to the realm of the giallo with his new project THE SANDMAN, and is involving his fans in its production. FANGORIA got some exclusive words with the director on this latest venture, plus the first poster.

The Canadian/German production was scripted by David Tully based on the short story by E.T.A. Hoffmann, and is being produced by Shivertown Road Films and Daniela Tully, Jeff Rogers and Rob Heydon. Rocker Iggy Pop will star in the title role; here’s the synopsis: “THE SANDMAN tells the story of Nathan, a young student in the city who struggles to forget his childhood trauma at the hands of the serial killer dubbed ‘The Sandman.’ Nathan killed The Sandman years ago, on Christmas Eve, after he witnessed the murder of his mother…until he sees the beautiful woman who lives in the apartment across the way dying at the hands of that same masked killer. This brutal murder plunges Nathan into an odyssey into the night country of his past, his dreams…and the buried secrets of The Sandman. Christmas is coming, and so is The Sandman.”

“It’s a very interesting story,” Argento tells Fango, “and I appreciate being able to finally come back to the giallo, but with a modern touch. I’m also very excited to be involved with Indiegogo, to have fans from every part of the world in this with me. Having them participate in this project is a new experience, and something I appreciate a lot.”

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The Indiegogo campaign, which can be seen here, is looking to raise $250,000 of THE SANDMAN’s budget, and is offering everything from merchandise and screen credits to set visits and onscreen roles as a victim. The movie is scheduled to shoot next summer, and Argento says, “Some of it will be on location in New York, and other parts in Canada or maybe northern Italy. We’ll be deciding that next month.”

Tully’s script was tailored specifically for Argento’s talents, and this is not the first time the two have worked together. “Some years ago, we had another project for an American company, a film based on Peter Straub’s book IF YOU COULD SEE ME NOW. But in the end, we were not able to go forward with it.” Their new film is inspired by German folklore, though the director notes, “In the film, the legend is completely distorted; it’s not the same. This is another Sandman, not the one from the German myths.”

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As for the man who will enact this villain, Argento says Pop was part of the project from very early on, though he says, “I don’t remember exactly if it was my idea to work with Iggy Pop or Iggy Pop to work with me! But he was very excited to work on this project, and I’m very excited to work with him. He was one of the heroes of my youth.” Pop isn’t slated to contribute to THE SANDMAN’s soundtrack; instead, Claudio Simonetti and the new Goblin will return to the director’s oeuvre to do the score, with the title song “Way She Moves” crafted by Scott Weiland and the Wildabouts (to also appear on the band’s new record, out next February).

Argento says that the rest of the casting will take place in Los Angeles this winter; “We’re looking for two young men and two young women from the United States,” and he adds that his daughter Asia will not be part of the cast. But otherwise, THE SANDMAN will be very much of the type that has made him a genre icon. “This film will be bloody!” he states. “The style will be different from my past movies, but it will still be very strong.”

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About the author
Michael Gingold
Michael Gingold has been a member of the FANGORIA team for the past three decades. After starting as a writer for the magazine in 1988, he came aboard as associate editor in 1990 and two years later moved up to managing editor. He now serves as editor-in-chief of the magazine while continuing to contribute numerous articles and reviews, as well as a contributing editor/writer for this website.
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