Columbia Pictures has acquired the rights to the comic classic "Preacher," as a possible directing vehicle for Oscar winner Sam Mendes.
Created by writer Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon, "Preacher" ran in a series of 66 issues (plus nine various specials) from 1995-2000, through DC Comics' Vertigo imprint.
The comic focuses on preacher Jesse Custer, who travels across the United States literally in search of God, long absent in Heaven. On his quest, which finds him fighting an array of angels and demons (and some just-plain-nasty humans), Jesse is joined by his ex-girlfriend Tulip and alcoholic Irish vampire Cassidy.
With "Watchmen" finally making its way to the big screen next spring, a "Preacher" adaptation has become something of a Holy Grail for comics fans.
A feature adaptation from Kevin Smith's View Askew Productions was in pre-production with James Marsden attached to star. Then in 2006, HBO enlisted "Daredevil" writer-director Mark Steven Johnson to work on a "Preacher" script as a series or a miniseries. In both cases, fans wondered how much of Ennis' intricate, profane and incredibly graphic vision could possibly make it to the screen.
No scribe is currently attached to the Columbia "Preacher" adaptation, according to the industry trades, nor is it clear how much of the story the studio would hope to pack into a single feature.
Mendes is no stranger, though, to difficult adaptations. He's currently finishing up "Revolutionary Road," based on Richard Yates' notoriously difficult novel. He also previously worked in graphic novel terrain on "Road to Perdition."Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times