Rumor Patrol: D.J. Caruso Might Direct ‘Preacher’ Movie [Updated]

Published 3 years ago by , Updated February 22nd, 2011 at 9:45 am,

preacher movie2 Rumor Patrol: D.J. Caruso Might Direct Preacher Movie [Updated]

[DJ Caruso confirmed that he's signed to direct Preacher!]

The acclaimed DC/Vertigo comic book series Preacher has suffered a long and formidable journey to the big screen. Since the late ’90s, various studios and filmmakers have tried in vain to adapt the controversial source material and as a result the project has endured some unique permutations.

Budgetary concerns ultimately killed the first attempt at a Preacher movie, which would have featured James Marsden in the lead role of Jesse Custer and a script by co-creator Garth Ennis. The property was next conceived as an HBO series with Mark Steven Johnson (Ghost Rider) handling writing duties. Although the network originally responded enthusiastically to Johnson’s pilot script, a regime change amongst HBO executives lead to the series’ termination due to their concerns over its dark tone and religious subject matter.

The rights to Preacher were then picked up by Columbia Pictures for producers Neil H. Moritz and Jason Netter. John August wrote a new script and Sam Mendes was signed to direct. Unfortunately, just as the film began making some headway, Mendes dropped out to direct the next James Bond movie instead.

Joe Carnahan (The A-Team) expressed interest in taking over the film and there were rumors that Darren Aronofsky might be circling it as well, but neither scenario came to fruition. Still, Moritz reportedly remains quite pleased with August’s script and he’s determined to see Preacher get made. Back in September, he told Total Film Magazine that a new director had signed on but remained coy about this person’s identity.

Now, one of /Film‘s spies has it on good authority that D.J. Caruso is the director in question. Caruso is responsible for films like Disturbia, Eagle Eye, and the upcoming I Am Number Four. In fact, the box office performance of I Am Number Four is said to be a major factor in determining whether or not he’ll land the Preacher gig.

preacher comic book Rumor Patrol: D.J. Caruso Might Direct Preacher Movie [Updated]

August’s script is evidently very faithful to the original Preacher comics, so fans don’t need to worry about a PG-13 version of this decidedly R-rated material. It’s also reassuring to hear that rather than trying to cram the entire tale into one movie, the current intention is to spread the main storyline out over the course of several films.

But something tells me that if this turns out to be true, there will be a very mixed reaction to Caruso calling the shots. I wasn’t thrilled when he was attached to the Y: The Last Man film adaptation and to be honest, he doesn’t strike me as a particularly great fit for Preacher either.

Nailing the tone of this story is paramount to the project’s success because in the wrong hands there are moments of perverse humor that could come across as feeling grossly irresponsible or ridiculously offensive.  The comic always knew exactly what it was and who it was for, but I’m not sure it’s a property that’s meant for a general audience.

In my opinion, there are certain sections of the U.S. that a Preacher movie just would not play well in. And if they’re hoping for a franchise, that first movie has to be capable of pulling off a miracle – making the story accessible for a broader audience while staying true to the quirky and extraordinarily dark source material.

Can it be done? I suppose nothing is impossible, but is Caruso the filmmaker best suited to direct Preacher?

Source: /Film.

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  1. Chris Hardwick would make a great Cassidy

    • holy deep fried poop on a stick!!! i didnt even think of him!!! high-five!!!

  2. I was really hoping that someone with a arthouse film history would be more interested. Caruso would turn this into an action movie, which Preacher is nowhere near an action comic. It has suspense and subtle flights of intensity. I would of loved for Gus Van Sant or even Aronofsky to take part. But who knows maybe he would stay truthful to the source material, which means that it would have to be a trilogy! Waaaaay to much subject matter for one film.

  3. Interesting. I would’ve preferred Mendes. But I will say that I enjoyed Disturbia and Eagle Eye to a lesser extent. I am in agreement that he’s a erratic choice.

  4. Honestly I can’t imagine who I would put in charge of a PREACHER adaptation. Most of it would probably come down to the script and the stars, as I feel like no matter how it’s directed, without the right script you can’t have either of the two important things: Mainstream appeal and the appeasal of the Vertigo hardcore.

  5. I loved the comics, but I can’t see Preacher as a movie. If they make it faithful to the comics, it would do terribly in theaters, as it would probably horrify mainstream moviegoers.

    • Yeah, Arseface will cause convulsions and massive vomiting among many of the people who might come to see the film. It was an excellent story, but this, even more than “Watchmen” supposedly was, will be extremely difficult to film, while staying true to the source material.

  6. tarantino to direct. (but he wont) i can only imagine what the bible belt would have to say about an inbred retarded descendant of jesus who lives in a cage and eats his own poop.

  7. This adaptation will not work as a theatrical movie, especially with who is currently attached. The Graphic Novel is some of the most hardcore stuff DC/Vertigo has put out, not to mention its virtually impossible to fit in all its greatness into a 2 hour film.

    The only way i see this working is if HBO (or AMC) came to their senses and pick it back up for a series format with ideal people like Quentin Tarantino/Robert Rodriguez to helm. Attach that with a talented cast and a score by Morricone and youve got yourself a bonafine MASTERPIECE. Seriously. This comic is hilarious/awesome/bad a$$/dark/sexy/action packed/depressing/scary/violent/disgusting/romantic all into one great big fist full of awesomeness.

  8. Who could direct?
    Quentin Tarantino always makes the dialoge so that people would be on the edge of their seat (ie: the opening scene of inglorious basterds…)

    Chris Nolan? just kidding…

    whoever did american psycho… i think he would do a great job…

    Who could be jessie?
    Christian Bale?
    Viggo Mortison?

    ild be happy if they just get it made… :)

  9. I’m actually surprised that the project has been passed up by soooo many different people. I mean… it’s an amazingly bad ass comic, and in my opinion, an easier project to adapt to the screen than Hellblazer would have been. Surely there are some directors and screen writers out there who are also hard core Vertigo fans and want to get in on it!

    I think it would have been better as a TV series with Alan Ball involved somehow. Ball wouldn’t produce a “diet coke” version, which is what concerns me with DJ Caruso…

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