Filmmaker Dario Argento and singer Iggy Pop have thrown their support behind a crowdfunding campaign to raise money for a movie adaptation of the terrifying, 19th century German depiction of the Sandman.
Not to be confused with author Neil Gaiman’s celebrated comic book series of the same name, Argento’s vision of the Sandman comes from author E.T.A. Hoffmann’s 1816 short story Der Sandmann, in which the titular villain steals the eyes of sleep-deprived children and feeds them to his own children…on the moon.
Argento, the director of artistic horror classics like Suspiria, Opera and Profundo Rosso, has cast the Stooges frontman – whose acting credits include roles in Cry-Baby, Tank Girl, The Crow: City of Angels and The Adventures of Pete and Pete – as the Sandman. The production is seeking to raise $250,000 over the next 31 days via an IndieGogo campaign.
The Italian filmmaker’s adaptation will tell the story of a young man named Nathan who, as a child, had a brush with a masked serial killer called “The Sandman,” known for slaughtering his victims with, as the campaign puts it, a “lethally jagged melon spoon” and claiming their eyes. Nathan killed that Sandman one Christmas Eve, after the villain killed the young man’s mother. The movie’s plot takes off when Nathan sees a killer dressed like the Sandman of his youth murder a young woman in an apartment across the way from him. From there, the hunt is on.
“The script was written as a kind of tribute to my movies and my whole career,” Argento said in a video statement. “I am tired of these Christmas movies showing goodness, beauty, snowflakes, sleds pulled by reindeer. I’d rather have a Christmas movie where there is also strength, violence, horror, and this is what I’m going to do.”
“If I could play the Sandman for Dario, it would make my life complete,” Pop said. “And I hope I haven’t just written my own epitaph.”
The film would be a co-production shot between Germany and Canada and the filming would take place in Ontario. Screenwriter David Tully, whose credits include the Tobe Hooper–directed Djinn and an English-language German TV movie called The Village, wrote the script. The soundtrack will feature an exclusive song by former Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver singer Scott Weiland and the rest of the music will be performed by Claudio Simonetti’s Goblin, one of two incarnations of the Goblin band that wrote music for Argento’s Suspiria, Profondo Rosso and Phenomena, among others.
Crowdfunding rewards range from one month of free streaming on movie site Fandor.com to executive producer credits that allow the funder on set and dinner with both Argento and Pop. One perk even allows the donor to appear in a scene with Pop directed by Argento. Other notable rewards include signed posters, priority treatment of questions during a Reddit AMA, a chance to have a script reviewed by Argento, one of the two fairytale book props in the movie and a chance to play the “black gloved killer” in the movie.
The movie’s producers hope to begin principal photography in 2015, but suggest that the time when shooting would begin depends on interest in the campaign. No other cast members have been announced.