Good news for comic book fans. It looks like Preacher might finally make its way to the big screen. Columbia Pictures has picked up the rights to adapt the series into a feature film, with American Beauty/Road to Perdition director Sam Mendes attached to helm the project.
Preacher has a long history of false starts, despite having a loyal following among geek filmmakers. Originally set-up at Kevin Smith’s View Askew with a $25 million budget and James Marsden attached as the title character, the project fell into limbo and later found light as an HBO television series helmed by Mark Steven Johnson (fans were not happy about this one). When the one-hour series was first announced in November 2006, Pretty in Pink director Howard Deutch was named to helm the pilot episode. Robert Rodriguez was said to be one of the “many top-shelf directors interested in” directing an episode of the series. I have yet to read the series, but from what I understand, most fans saw it more as a television mini-series than a big screen movie.
The official plot synopsis from the graphic novel follows: “Here’s a book guaranteed to offend a bunch of people, not only because of its profuse profanity and graphic violence, but because it’s the epitome of iconoclasm. Like a brutal accident, you can’t watch but you can’t turn away. The story follows an ex-preacher man, Jesse, who has become disgusted with God’s abandoning of His responsibilities. So Jesse starts off into the wilds of Texas with his hitman girlfriend and new best friend (a vampire) to find God so that he can give Him a piece of his mind. Despite its superficial perversity, this book contains what may be the most moral character in mainstream comics. A cult hit in the making. Fans of Quentin Tarantino take note.”
The 75 issue comic book series was created by writer Garth Ennis and artist Steve Dillon, and published between 1995 to 2000.