cusack_and_elba

John Cusack says “I don’t know if there are any more superheroes left”, but he knows as well as we do that there’s plenty more, cape-free comic books ripe for big screen adaptation, and that a great number of them seem fit to make for rather good movies. One project in particular has caught his eye, and that’s the movie adaptation of Preacher that Sam Mendes is still attached to and that John August has been screenwriting.

Meanwhile, Idris Elba - The Wire‘s Stringer Bell and Roque in The Losers – would really like a role in any 100 Bullets movie that might come along from Brian Azarello and Eduardo Risso’s comic. I spoke to him at the MCM Expo last month (think: the UK’s Comic-Con, smaller but getting bigger and better all the time) and while the full details of what I found out about The Losers are still pending, I can tell you what he was saying on the subject of his dream comic book role after the break.

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Preacher Update: Screenplay is Half-Written

Preacher

We have a brief update on the big screen adaptation of the beloved Vertigo comic book series Preacher. Last year Columbia Pictures picked up the rights and hired American Beauty/Road to Perdition director Sam Mendes attached to helm the project. In January it was announced that John August (Go, Big Fish) would be developing the script, but we haven’t heard much since. Mendes tells MTV that the screeplay is “about halfway” written.

“There’s a long way to go yet, but I’m very, very hopeful. I think it could be amazing.”

Fans are hoping that the film might spawn a franchise as the 75 issue series offers enough story for at least three films. But Mendes is focused on making one really good self-contained movie, but admits that “there’s certainly more than enough for one good movie and plenty left over.” Even if this film does go into production, it won’t happen anytime soon. The director tells Collider that he will be doing two more plays in Brooklyn first, and that he won’t be doing his next movie until next year, at earliest.

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John August is that rare thing in the arts. He’s an established professional with a back catalogue of accomplished works who we can still single out as one to watch. For my money, August’s work just keeps getting better and better, and his directorial debut The Nines was like a second debutantes ball for him (I was going to say “second coming out”, but in that case it would have been at least his third).

He’s similarly rare in his candidness, offering a very well written and well read blog which offers not only updates on his work, but technical and advice on the craft on screenwriting. In his latest post, he has confirmed EW’s scoop that he is scripting the feature film adaptation of Preacher, with Sam Mendes attached to direct and Neil Moritz producing. Moritz has a rather bad reputation, or at least a catalogue of disappointing films behind him, and I’m no fan of Mendes myself but I sincerely hope this all works out well – for the sake of August’s screenplay, as much as anything else.

There have been several attempts to mount a Preacher film before, though all have skidded and ditched rather early. Below the break is a test on the make-up for ArseFace.

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Remember when it was announced last week that Sam Mendes would be directing an adaptation of Garth Ennis and Steve Dillion’s comic book series Preacher? Well apparently Variety spoke too soon.

“I’d love to make Preacher, but there’s no script. This is a typical Variety announcement – ‘Mendes to direct Preacher’ – I wish! Basically they should have written, ‘Mendes in development with Preacher’. What I’m doing is, I’ve gotta find a script. I’ve just got to get it written,” Mendes tells Empire Magazine.

The director calls the series a “brilliant” and “incredibly twisted vision”, but admits that the problem with a big screen adaptation is “there’s so much of it you couldn’t possibly fit it all into one movie.”

“It’s just about what you keep and what you leave out, and how you structure the story. But just to have that toy set again, being able to paint on a big canvas and to say ‘I am gonna do crazy crane shots and massive action sequences again because I want to,’ it’s exciting..”

That said, I still have faith in Mendes to make it happen.

/Filmcast Ep. 24 – Zack and Miri Make a Porno

Dave, Devindra, and Adam fly guest-less in this episode of the /Filmcast, as they cut through the B.S. of Mark Millar’s Superman trilogy pitch, reflect on the career of Sam Mendes, and cry over the lost potential of Joaquin Phoenix’s abruptly terminated acting career.

Have any questions, comments, concerns, feedback, or praise? E-mail us at slashfilmcast@gmail.com or call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993. Join us next next week as we review Role Models.

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Sam Mendes to Direct Preacher

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.

source: THR

HBO Kills Preacher Television Series

HBO has killed the planned television adaptation of Garth Ennis‘ popular Vertigo comic series Preacher. Mark Steven Johnson broke the news to ComicsContinuum, claiming that the project got to the budgeting stage before it was axed.

“The new head of HBO felt it was just too dark and too violent and too controversial. Which, of course, is kind of the point,” said Johnson. “It was a very faithful adaptation of the first few books, nearly word for word. They offered me the chance to redevelop it but I refused. I’ve learned my lesson on that front and I won’t do it again. So I’m afraid it’s dead at HBO.”

While this is sad news, I’m kind of glad that Johnson is off the project. After all, this is the same guy who made Ghost Rider and Daredeveil. I’m not sure I would like Johnson’s “faithful” adaptation. Johnson has heard that someone else “is in the process of getting the rights to turn it into a feature film.”

A film adaptation was once being developed at Kevin Smith’s production company – View Askew Productions, with James Marsden attached to play the lead. When the one-hour series was first announced in November 2006, Pretty in Pink director Howard Deutch named to helm the pilot episode. Robert Rodriguez was said to be one of the “many top-shelf directors interested in” helming an episode of the series. So I’m confident that the project will eventually get a green light somewhere.

But a television series seemed like such a great idea. My hope is that following the success of Dexter, that Showtime would make a play for a television adaptation. They certainly aren’t afraid of dark material. The only question is, do they have the budget.

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.

Rumor: Robert Rodriguez to direct Preacher Pilot?

Robert Rodriguez

Preacher comic bookMany people have recommended the Preacher comic book series to me, but I’ve yet to pick it up. For several years, a film adaptation was in the works by Kevin Smith’s production company – View Askew Productions, with James Marsden attached to play the lead. In November 2006, it was announced that Mark Steven Johnson was producing the series as a one-hour HBO television series. Johnson is like the Uwe Boll of Comic Book movies (oka, may-be not THAT bad), having directed Daredevil and Ghost Rider. So when his name was mentioned, most fans were outraged. Pretty in Pink director Howard Deutch was named to helm the pilot episode, which didn’t make the fans any less doubtful. But according to Comics2Film there may be light at the end of the tunnel after all.

Rumor has it that Sin City director Robert Rodriguez is circling the project and “he’s just one of many top-shelf directors interested in the series.” But apparently HBO has still yet to commit to the project. Rodriguez could be enough to get the project on the fast track.

The storyline has always sounded very interesting to me:  Preacher tells the story of a down-and-out preacher in the small Texas town who was accidentally possessed by the supernatural creature named ‘Genesis’ in an incident which killed his entire congregation and flattened his church. Jesse Custer may have become the most powerful being in the whole of living existence. Driven by a strong sense of right and wrong, Custer goes on a journey across the United States attempting to (literally) find God, who abandoned Heaven the moment Genesis was born. He also begins to discover the truth about his new powers, which allow him to command the obedience of those who hear his words. He is joined by his old girlfriend Tulip O’Hare, as well as a hard-drinking Irish vampire named Cassidy. The 75 issue comic book series was created by writer Garth Ennis and artist Steve Dillon, and published between 1995 to 2000.

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