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Hey folks, Harry here with a quick e-mail from 433, a despicable and loathsome chap that all abhor in Minneapolis. He doesn't walk so much as slithersss and if it wasn't for Chris and Wendy, who both usually beat him into submission, he'd be institutionalized. However, due to their training and supervision he is getting slightly less icky and has at least learned to read, a bit. He found the following in Neil Gaiman's journal... which is just creepy... the man reads other people's journals... no sense of privacy... yeesh. ANYWAY, some good came of it, as we now get to hope the financing is coming together at last for Gaiman to finally direct DEATH: THE HIGH COST OF LIVING, which would be a very good thing I feel. Here ya go...


It looks like Neil Gaiman has the financing for his DEATH: THE HIGH COST OF LIVING film he's been wanting to direct for years. He just posted this in his journal:

"It started with a terrific meeting with Roger and Brenda, my directors on the TAM LIN project. Then I walked across the hall and met with a company who wanted to finance DEATH: THE HIGH COST OF LIVING, and the only condition that they had thought might be a sticking point was something I already wanted. Things can go wrong (things can always go wrong) and lots of deals need to be made before a formal announcement can be made, but I wouldn't be surprised to be shooting DEATH next Spring."

Fingers crossed!

- 433

Readers Talkback
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  • June 2, 2003, 6:02 a.m. CST


    by paulio

    Dave Mc Kean to direct please.

  • June 2, 2003, 6:41 a.m. CST

    Very cool news, indeed.

    by SirReal

    Eagerly awaiting this project.

  • June 2, 2003, 6:50 a.m. CST

    Bad, bad idea, Mr Gaiman.

    by Cash Bailey

    We all know he's a fucking God, but Neil Gaiman's still a first time director with a very tricky piece of material that's ripe for studio interference. I hope the best for it, but I wont believe a single word about this being made until I'm sitting in the theatre watching it.

  • June 2, 2003, 6:54 a.m. CST

    Yay! Gaiman-tastic

    by Heleno

    I have a childlike faith that Neil can pull this off. Heck, if he directs with half the skill of his writing, it'll be wicked. And I think his journal is online somewhere, isn't it?

  • June 2, 2003, 7:20 a.m. CST

    Gaiman has the ability

    by mat_ae

    Look back at Neil's comics he know's storyboarding, he know how to tell a good story and Death's always had maketing potential. Neil also hihglighted the problem with his BBC tv series (they used video hot film stock) and he's a shrewd cookie. Good on him - I'll support any Brit who does well over there Mat Ellis Northampton

  • June 2, 2003, 8:03 a.m. CST


    by Heffaloo

    Does he still want Fairuza Balk to play Death? Or is 29 too old?

  • June 2, 2003, 8:48 a.m. CST

    Gaiman's Journal

    by Luke

    You can read Gaiman's journal on his website - - didn't I hear that he was going to be directing this one? It about time we had a Gaiman project on film... once one has been made, the studios will be falling over themselves to make his projects. The guy's a genius

  • June 2, 2003, 9:17 a.m. CST


    by Silvio Dante

    Sure he's a first timer. Everybody's gotta start somewhere, why not with the material he knows better than anyone. For all we know, he might be next God of Celluloid. I think it was Steven Soderbergh who said that directing films ain't exactly brain surgery, given chance most intelligent adult would manage to do it and I think Gaiman fits the category fairly well. And oh yeah, he recently directed short film (The length was 30 minutes or something like that) just to get his sealegs, so to speak.

  • June 2, 2003, 9:28 a.m. CST

    For the record

    by FrankCobretti

    Neil Gaiman rocks and I'd see HCOL on opening day. That is all.

  • June 2, 2003, 9:50 a.m. CST

    IF they cast Fairuza

    by Dmann

    please please please...copious full frontal nudity...yeah...LOTS of boobies! Ru's boobies, I'm telling ya, worth every penny!

  • June 2, 2003, 9:51 a.m. CST

    We all know that it should be called 'Death:The high cost of kic

    by PlutoNick

  • June 2, 2003, 10:01 a.m. CST

    Dammit, Harry!

    by John Maddening

    Don't you associate me with Pet Snake Reggie! I am so cool it hurts, dammit! You even said so right here:

  • June 2, 2003, 11:41 a.m. CST


    by Aquafresh

    As much as I love Fairuza, I think hottest woman alive Asia Argento would be better for this. I found a site full of naked pictures of her (she likes getting naked) and found it impossible not to get a boner. Anyway, I love the Sandman but have yet to really fall in love with any of Gaiman's strictly literary works. I wonder if he'll be a good director. Something about this makes me think "Clive Barker", but hopefully I'm wrong.

  • June 2, 2003, 11:45 a.m. CST

    RE: Cash

    by Heffaloo

    Yeah, but what does Steven Soderbergh know anyway? I mean, he's just an amusing, intelligent and talented guy who has directed some of the most effective films of recent years. I mean, it's not like he knows important stuff, like picking up chicks. What? JULES ASNER!!?! That bastard. She was going to be my rebound girl after I get dumped by Fairuza. BTW: Does anyone know how I can meet Fairuza Balk?

  • June 2, 2003, 12:31 p.m. CST

    Death? Have you seen Wesley? This is Lynn. Lynn Belvedere.

    by Mr. Belvedere

    Where are my Hohos?

  • June 2, 2003, 12:56 p.m. CST

    I doubt there will be any FEMALE nudity in a film directed by Ne

    by PumpyMcAss

    Haha! I bet he NEVER heard that one when he was a kid. Maturity is overrated. Peace!

  • June 2, 2003, 1:26 p.m. CST

    Hope this does happen!

    by morGoth

    And it's done well. Meaning, it doesn't get butchered and dumbed down. Cool news indeed!

  • June 2, 2003, 1:59 p.m. CST

    yeah well...

    by Dragonfire

    I didnt enjoy the death comic I read nearly as much as sandman, infact I found it pretty boring. I'd be far more excited if it was a sandman movie, but then again, I'd be much more pissed off if a sandman movie was bad than I would if the death movie was bad.

  • June 2, 2003, 2:02 p.m. CST

    I don't know why this wasn't made a long time ago...

    by IdFuckAvril

    "Death: The High Cost of Living" shouldn't cost that much to produce. There aren't many effects in the original comic book mini-series. ..... The word is that it's not Fairuza that Gaiman has gotten for this, but P.J. Harvey. (Harvey has acted in a few obscure arthouse flicks.) Fairuza Balk would probably cost too much (despite the fact that she's not much in demand these days, it appears), unless if she liked the project enough to do it for less.

  • June 2, 2003, 3:36 p.m. CST

    Fist of Khonshu

    by dougmac

    Don't mention that site in passing, post a link. Be a team player

  • June 2, 2003, 3:37 p.m. CST

    No Nudity in the book, why would there be any in the movie?

    by FatWilllie

    No nudity in the book, why would there be any in the movie? Anyway, I don't think Fairuza is right for it cause she has this crazy evil look about her, and Neil Gaiman's Death doesn't. PJ Harvey doesn't quite look right either. I don't know. Fiona Apple with dyed black hair? Christina Ricci if she lost a hell of a lot of weight? I dunno.

  • June 2, 2003, 4:14 p.m. CST

    Death should be a thin, winsome, teenager

    by the G-man

    More like a young Kate Hudson as a totally Goth "Penny Lane" than Fairuza Balk.

  • June 2, 2003, 4:18 p.m. CST

    Naked Asia

    by Aquafresh Sorry, it was kinda selfish of me not to share the joy that is naked Asia. I'm not usually this much of a pervy poster, but man, Asia just does if for me. Yum!

  • June 2, 2003, 4:32 p.m. CST

    Gaiman is a brilliant writer but...

    by Mister Pink

    how many writers have ever really made that transition to directing? Clive Barker sucks as a director and remember Stephen King trying to direct MAXIMUM OVERDRIVE? I hope this works, I'm a Gaiman fan and all, but I just think maybe this property would better be left in the hands of a veteran director like Tim Burton. Does anyone know if AMERICAN GODS has any chance to be a movie, BTW? I'd like to see it done with Vin Diesel as the lead and Sean Connery as Wednesday.

  • June 2, 2003, 4:43 p.m. CST

    Kelly MacDonald as Death

    by Barrymore

    I'd like to see Scottish actress Kelly MacDonald as Death. She's been in movies like Gosford Park, Trainspotting, and Two Family House. She can be the perfect amount of cute, sarcastic, and personality. Like James Bond, I don't think Death should be an American. If they had to go with an American "name" star, dye Kate Hudson's hair black.

  • June 2, 2003, 5:38 p.m. CST

    low budget

    by Rupee88

    Sounds like a low budget affair which is fine with me. You don't need a lot of CGI and fancy production values to tell such a human story. What will make or break this movie though of course is who they cast as "Death". She needs to be cute and smart and sexy like she is in the comics.

  • June 2, 2003, 5:47 p.m. CST


    by Rupee88

    Asia Argento is hot, but she is getting too old and is too curvy to play "Death". She was sexy as hell in XXX, and I love her nude pics, but she's too much of a curvy WOMAN to play the character. You need someone young and thin and slight...if you want to stay reasonably true to the comics at least...... But if Gaiman directs it, then it was his creation and it will be his call. Hopefully, he will have total creative control and they won't get some big name to play the role, like they did with miscasting Halle Berry as Storm. Sure she put asses in seats, but she was totally wrong for the role. I hope this is very low budget and they will find a talented unknown who is PERFECT for the role. As far as a name actress goes, Keira Knightley might be good...she is young and pretty and not too busty. She was in Bend It Like Beckham, and was decent in it. I'm not sure if she is a great actress, but she could probably look the part.

  • June 2, 2003, 6:06 p.m. CST


    by NicholasWolfwood *** posted the link last year when aicn talked about a possible death movie.

  • June 2, 2003, 6:14 p.m. CST

    How about Andrea Corr?

    by NicholasWolfwood

    she's the lead singer of the Irish band the Corrs. She's cute and petite and kinda looks like she can play Death. Here's a pic:

  • June 2, 2003, 6:16 p.m. CST

    I love The Sandman and related works as much as the next guy, bu

    by Johnny Smith

    ...does anyone else think that it's a bad idea to do this without proper introduction to the characters and concepts? I mean, sheesh. Gaiman's a smart guy, doesn't he realize he's making a huge marketing/audience error? The ice is gonna break! - JS.

  • June 2, 2003, 9:16 p.m. CST

    The sexiest tomboy beanpole in Gaiman's little universe . . . .

    by UmmHello

    and I am ASTOUNDED that no-one has yet suggested Keira Knightley for the role . . .

  • June 2, 2003, 9:48 p.m. CST

    Come on guys, the obvious choice is Molly Shannon

    by DomisInnerChild

    In her goth outfit from Saturday Night Live. Chris Katton could be Sandman or it could be Rob Lowe if they just have to have a "name" star.

  • June 2, 2003, 10:17 p.m. CST


    by travisc

    I'm right there with you Mr. Pink. The whole time I was reading it I saw Vin as Shadow. If he developed a little more of that potential I saw in PITCH BLACK and MULTI-FACIAL, he would be prefect. However, I completely disagree on Sean Connery as Wednesday. I don't think he has the inclination to play a role sly and understated anymore (as I am sure this summer's ALAN QUATERMAIN & THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY SIDEKICKS will prove). I always saw Kris Kristofferson as the grizzled, one-eyed trickster.

  • June 2, 2003, 11:21 p.m. CST

    Eliza Dushku or Winona Ryder

    by Magnus_Steele

    These two lovely ladies would be awesome to play Death, but neither are better than Hulk Hogan "I'll be there to turn off all the lights and put up all the chairs Brother!"

  • June 3, 2003, 12:05 a.m. CST


    by Mister Pink

    I can go with Kristofferson, I feel ya...or how about...dare I say....Nicholson?

  • June 3, 2003, 1:42 a.m. CST

    Damn you all and your cursed homophobia! Get over it and admit

    by vic twenty

    stop hatin'.

  • June 3, 2003, 11:01 a.m. CST

    Some of My thoughts

    by Solrider77

    Ok first off in DEATH:THE HIGH COST OF LIVING Death takes a holiday and uses the body of a teen to do it. So that means ideally the actress who plays Death would have to be around the ages of 17-23. Now of course you could have an older actress play Death in the finaly scenes where she returns from her "vacation". So I'll just throw in one name Natalie Portman. Y'know I met Gaiman at a book signing for AMERICAN GODS not too long ago and when I asked him who he saw playing Death he said "Well, I don' really know reight now but, I'm lookin forward to havin' lunch wit all the lovely ladies who try out"

  • June 3, 2003, 11:04 a.m. CST

    Brittany Murphy is the perfect Death

    by herow/1000faces

    Nuff said

  • June 3, 2003, 11:55 a.m. CST

    How about the lead singer from Evanescence, Amy Lee?

    by Wungolioth

    She's certainly got the right look for it. Not sure how old she is though.

  • June 3, 2003, 12:28 p.m. CST

    Why hasn't anyone...

    by oogyboogy

    Why, with all the comic overflow into cinema and TV currently, has no one suggested serialising the Sandman LOYALLY as a TV franchise? The idea of a film went to the wall because the treatments that were put forward went all...well, wrong. Neil Gaiman has now walked away from the idea of a film, knowing that it probably wouldn't be made right. I don't recall him ever suggesting/mentioning a tv franchising concept though. 1 issue per episode WOULD work. I was going to do it myself when I got famous and respectable, but, well, that aint happening, and I want to see it! So somebody else do it (properly). Please?

  • June 3, 2003, 12:31 p.m. CST

    and my point was....

    by oogyboogy

    Oh, and forgot to conclude there that that would be the ideal way to effectively introduce the characters....

  • June 3, 2003, 1:55 p.m. CST

    Deedee is 15 in the comic...

    by Amazing Kreskin

    So, given that they have historically gotten 20-somethings to play teenagers in movies, 17-23 sounds about right. As much as I love Fairuza, I can't in good conscience recommend such a move. Also, Asia Argento, as good as she was in xXx, is also wrong for the part. Any thoughts about the rest of the cast? I always thought of Donald Sutherland as the Eremite. "Thank you, Amazing Kreskin." -- Dot, Animaniacs

  • June 3, 2003, 2:08 p.m. CST

    I agree with Kreskin. Death (and the boy she hangs out with) hav

    by Margot Tenenbaum

    90210, the WB and Disney have warped our concept of what teenagers look and act like. Part of the temendous power that the Japanese movie BATTLE ROYALE had was casting kids who were actually the age they were playing. I hope Gaiman doesn't go Hollywood with the casting and we end up with James Van Der Beek and Katie Holmes, or one of the Olsen Twins and Lil' Bow Wow. DEATH: THE HIGH COST OF LIVING was the peak of both Neil Gaiman and Chris Bachalo's careers, IMO.

  • June 3, 2003, 2:20 p.m. CST

    oogyboogy, that's a great idea.

    by Margot Tenenbaum

    HBO could do an "NBC Mystery Movie" (I'm so old) thing with a bunch of Vertigo titles. **For the young, the NBC Mystery Movie was just a time slot that they rotated COLUMBO, MCMILLAN AND WIFE, MCLOUD and a bunch of other shows through every week.** So say you had SANDMAN on the first Monday of the month, INVISIBLES the next, PREACHER the next, and finally a wildcard slot for shows adapted from mini-series like NEVADA or THE EXTREMIST. DC has to smarten up and give up on Superman and Batman and start exploiting their Vertigo stuff NOW. (That doesn't make me want a WONDER WOMAN movie set in **WORLD WAR II** any less, WB).

  • I am a strong beleiver in Bryan Singer's X-Men movies, and really feel that without X-Men as a precursor to kick it off, we would never have gotten this comic book movie frenzy that we are in right now, and for the foreseeable future. Let's support Singer, Marvel, and comic book films in general, and go see X2 again and really push it over the top in it's domestic box office. I think that would send a good message to the studios: make a good comic book film that pleases fans (the key word here is good; in X2's case, it's very good) and the fans will reward you. Make a bad comic book film, and the fans will punish instead, and will stay away from the theatres. Let's send the right signal to the studios and any filmmakers considering making a comic book film: be faithful and skillful like Singer and company, and we (the fans) will back you to the wall. Nuff'said! Barron out.

  • June 3, 2003, 4:26 p.m. CST

    the best girl for Death

    by AssPirateJoey

    Lauren Graham. hands down. no question. she got the looks and she got the 'tude.

  • June 3, 2003, 8:08 p.m. CST

    Indeed, Barron34

    by PumpyMcAss

    Let's support a major blockbuster action film because the world needs sooo many more of those. Let's let the major studio heads know that we like our movies loud and dumb because they haven't figured that out yet. Who wants to support edgy, independent films, anyways? Why go to Morvern Callar, Owning Mahowny or The Man Without A Past when you can just go see an unchallenging comic book movie instead?

  • June 4, 2003, 4:09 a.m. CST

    R. Lee Ermy should play Death

    by NeoDevilbane

    "Do you suck dicks? Bullshit, I bet you could suck a golfball through a garden hose!"

  • June 4, 2003, 11:06 a.m. CST

    Death is dated!

    by Louis Cyphre

    Death? That's just so ... 'mid-90s'! Seriously, I'd have loved to see this movie back then, while everyone around me was wearing flannel and listening to Pearl Jam, but man, the time has gone, and can be no more. Unless you still like Nickelback. Then you're gonna love it.

  • June 4, 2003, 2:01 p.m. CST

    Lennon Murphy as Death

    by Lycanthropunk

    I'll throw my hate in the ring and suggest rock singer Lennon Murphy as Death. Physically, she resembles a cross between Eliza Dushku and Jennifer Love Hewitt, and she has a "cute" demeanor.

  • June 4, 2003, 3:07 p.m. CST

    Get MIYAZAKI on board and he'll create a brilliant anime film!

    by Bregalad_

    Forget the live action film.... Gaiman should not roll the dice as a first time director. He should collaborate with the great master of quiet, cerebral, and breathtakingly poetic films, Miyazaki-san --- and with Gaiman sticking to his greatest strength (writing), the two will create the finest uber-genius film EVER. It would be a brilliant high watermark for 21st century cinema. Miyazki's best characters are young girls challenged by a dawning self-realization and often a unique fate they must rise to meet. Gaiman loves Miyazki and adapted the script for English version of Mononoke Hime. SERIOUSLY FOLKS. We all know this would work.

  • June 4, 2003, 4:24 p.m. CST

    To PumpyMcAss

    by Barron34

    That's bullshit. I like good independent movies as much as the next person. But if you think that a Neil Gaiman comic book movie would ever get made without X-Men as a precursor, you are sadly mistaken. Hellboy, Gaiman, etcetera, would have little or no chance of being made without the success of popcorn movies like X-Men. Personally, I like good popcorn movies like X-Men, as well as good independent movies. I think that some people like to look down their noses at mainstream pictures so as to assert their own apparent "taste" and "intellectual superiority". It's just petty snobbishness. Anyway, X2 is a GOOD popcorn movie, and I think FANS should support it. If you are not a fan, then this does not apply to you. Barron out.

  • June 4, 2003, 7:09 p.m. CST

    Mr. Pink

    by travisc

    The problem with Nicholson is you just can't have him leave the film in the middle and not expect him to show up in the final act. The audience will be waiting for him to show up again and it loses it's surprise. Plus, both Diesel and Nicholson command $10M per picture. This project probably would be getting a huge budget and there are plenty of other important roles to fill, plus some not-insignificant special effects work to pay for.

  • June 4, 2003, 7:16 p.m. CST


    by travisc

    Probably would NOT be getting a huge budget.

  • June 5, 2003, 9:23 a.m. CST

    Death casting...

    by Tons of Fun

    you know who I think would make a great DEATH? My girlfriend (yes, even movie geeks who refer to themselves as "Tons of Fun" and are often told they look like Silent Bob, can have beautiful girls). She looks very much like her, except the big hair, and she is also a big fan of Gaiman and the character. She also was inspired by DEATH to paint that swirl under her eye occasionally. She can act to boot. On second thought, I wouldn't want her to be a famous actress, she would probably meet some famous actor and he'll charm her and she'll totally forget about ol'me. Forget I even mentioned her.

  • June 5, 2003, 3:31 p.m. CST

    claire danes as death.... duh!!

    by loner25

    claire danes is death. she's a great actress. AND she likes comics, at least gaiman's comics. she's just the perfect girl. death has to be kinda cute so fairuza balk is out cuz she looks like a man. ok thats all. word to your mother. out.

  • June 5, 2003, 6:48 p.m. CST

    so sick of Gaiman

    by Delete Me

    Death was easily the worst character in Sandman, the epitome of everything that was wrong with that very promising, very good, very flawed series. Gaiman pulls away from his greater responsibility - depicting the harsh reality that death can be and usually is cold and harsh and ugly - to indulge in the delightful irony of presenting us with a "cutesy Death," who immediately becomes one of the flattest, most two-dimensional characters in all of Gaiman's pantheon of flat, two-dimensional characters. Stripping death of its content and meaning and reducing it to a bubbly little goth girl who giggles over a bowl of goldfish and takes you "wherever you believe you'll go" when you die? Yeah, that shows a lot of artistic integrity. Bet it sold a lot more issues, too. And don't get me started on his whole pompous "I look just like the Sandman, the master storyteller, lord of dreams!" bullshit.