Preacher Gets a Screenwriter

Blog@: Preacher Series Dead at HBO

According to Variety, Garth Ennis and Steve Dillion’s Preacher is continuing its move to other media, and has found a writer.

As the trade reports, John (Big Fish) August will adapt the material for film (it’s unclear how much of the 66-issue Vertigo series the film will cover, as Variety states August “has been tapped to adapt the supernatural graphic novel ‘Preacher’”), and Sam Mendes will direct.

In the "things that make you go huh?" category, the trade describes the project as: centers on the preacher of a Texas town who is struggling to get by and is driven only by his strong moral sense. When the city is decimated by an otherworldly force, he embarks on a journey across the country to take on the evil. It's unclear if that's the studio's description of the storyline, or Variety's, but in either case it's...different than what was in the comics, as the years long storyline kicked off when Jesse Custer, a small-town Texas Preacher was imbued with the Voice of God during a church service, and the members of his congregation were killed. This kicks off a cross-country and ultimatley worlds wide search for God, physical rather than metaphorical.

The news of a Mendes-directed film is the latest try to bring the story of Jesse Custer, Tulip O’Hare and the Irish vampire Cassidy and their literal search for God to life as either film or a television series. In 2006, Mark Steven Johnson was looking at adapting the award-winning series as an HBO series – and entertained the notion of each issue roughly equaling an episode, with a plan to have a bevy of A-list, genre, and fan-favorite directors direct the episodes. The project was declared dead by Johnson last year. At that time, Johns said that he heard someone was looking at adapt it as a film, and expressed his hope that it would be a series of movies, “as one movie couldn’t do it justice.”

Given the subject matter of the comic series - which will be seen as blasphemous by many of the Christian faith - and the complexity of the storyline (different timelines, parallel stories), not to mention the special effects - Preacher has taken the place of Watchmen in the eyes of many fans as being comics' unfilmable masterpiece.

It was announced last October that Columbia and Mendes had landed the rights to Preacher.

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