John August Scripting Both Preacher And Frankenweenie

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.

These images came from the Vincent Guastini Productions website. At the time these tests were being carried out, Rachael Talalay was set to direct and Sam Jackson was being sized up for a role as the Saint of All Killers (see concept art for his make-up on the Guastini site too).

Beyond Preacher, August is set for his fifth collaboration with Tim Burton. You may know that Burton's short Frankenweenie is to be remade as a feature, this time in stop-motion not live action, and it will be shot in 3D. What surprised me is that the film is to be black and white, that Burton is only chalked up as producer when I assumed he would co-direct a la The Corpse Bride, and that a key part of the plot appears to have changed a little. This time, say The Hollywood Reporter, it will be a man resurrecting his dog after it gets hit by a car, not a young boy.  Hmmmm. I think they've probably got at least that bit wrong.

Frankenweenie is expected to reach release in 2011, Preacher... when it's ready.