Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Has Neil Gaiman softened his position on barbecuing babies...?

After my initial confusion regarding the two big comics/film news items of the last two days, I think I've got it straight now: Warner Bros. is moving forward with plans to adapt Neil Gaiman and company's Sandman series into a film, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt and David S. Goyer (and Gaiman, according to Heidi MacDonald's post) are involved.

As soon as I read that, I was reminded of a quote of Gaiman's regarding being involved in a Sandman movie, in which he said something along the lines of "No one should be asked to barbecue their own baby." (It was a strong metaphor, and stayed with me for I guess almost 20 years now; that Gaiman guy's a pretty good writer, huh?).

Anyway, I Googled "Neil Gaiman" "barbecue" and "baby," looking for the quote, and found a David Roel's website, and a link to this Q-and-A, which apparently dates it to a 1994 (1994!!) interview.

I'm not sure why Roel seems to change his initials to "HH" during the course of the Q-and-A, and I have no idea where this appeared first, although I assume it was in print somewhere, as I wouldn't have been online until closer to the turn-of-the-millennium, although I suppose I could have seen it reprinted somewhere. Anyway, barbecuing babies:

HH: Who do you see playing some of the characters in the Sandman movie?

NG: Tori would make a great Delirium. I like Sean Connery as Destiny. (Laughter and bad Sean Connery impressions.) Bear in mind you're dealing with Hollywood, you're dealing with this huge, strange entity that really doesn't quite know what it's doing... There are two screenwriters who seem to have the right idea, there's an executive producer who doesn't particularly... I, for my part, have elected to stay out of it. If you get involved, you can get hurt. Quite seriously, this is my baby; it's something I've been living with for seven years. Nobody should be asked to barbecue their own baby, nobody should be asked to cut off its little fingers and marinate them. And nobody should be asked to be at the other end of the phone when some guy from Hollywood rings up and says, (really bad Californian accent) "Hey Neil, y'sitting down, 'cuz hey, I got news for you guy, okay, y'ready, we got Arnie. We got Arnie. Arnie is Dream! It's casting against type, but Michael Keaton did Batman!" And I don't want to be there for that call.

I would actually kind of love to see Arnold Schwarzenegger in a big, black wig and cloak, trying to pronounce Gaiman's dialogue.


Akilles said...

I thought you meant this comic.


No BBQ:ing in it, though.

David Roel said...

"HH" is Howard Hallis from "Ben is Dead" magazine.