Following the development of Preacher is a painstakingly frustrating experience. Nearly two and a half years ago, I reported that the Preacher adaptation was was in the works... again (this is after a decade of delays, mind you). At the time, Columbia Pictures picked up the film rights to the Vertigo comic series and attached Sam Mendes to direct.
Since then, writer John August finished a draft of the script, Sam Mendes left the project, August was rumored to possibly direct, Joe Carnahan (The A-Team) expressed interest in the project and most recently, DJ Caruso was rumored to helm the project. Now we can at least confirm that Preacher has a director again but does this mean the project is moving forward?
DJ Caruso, the man behind Shia LaBeouf films Disturbia and Eagle Eye, as well as this past weekend's I Am Number Four, has long been attached to direct the other incredibly popular Vertigo comic adaptation, Y: The Last Man, but that project hasn't budged in a while either. Caruso and New Line had differences over what direction they should take on that adaptation and now it sits without a director.
Through Twitter though, an unconfirmed account of Caruso confirmed that he's now officially signed to direct Preacher instead:
"My deal just closed on Preacher. Going back to the dark side and pretty f*cking pumped!"
The tone of his tweet sure matches the tone of the books, so he's off to a good start (assuming it's him)!
We've come close to Preacher becoming a live-action reality several times in the past, with an HBO series in 2006 and Sam Mendes saying they were "close" over a year ago. We don't know how close this actually ever came and since it went from an adult-geared TV show to a potential film project, no actors have been attached.
Outside of its extreme adult and controversial religious content, Preacher tells a deep story with multiple threads that don't seem to lend themselves well to a two-hour feature film, or even a trilogy of them. It's a shame we can't go the HBO route, especially with the recent success of The Walking Dead as an episodic adventure for TV audiences.
While previous works Two For the Money, I Am Number Four and Eagle Eye didn't fare well amongst critics, Disturbia earned some positive reviews and it seems Caruso has a clear and definitive vision for how he wishes to adapt Preacher, knowing what he wanted to do with Y: The Last Man previously. If Preacher doesn't have its needed hard R-Rating though, cancel the project. If you don't know why, go pick up some trades of Preacher and thank me later.
How long until the Shia LaBeouf casting rumors pop?