People have been trying to bring Preacher, Garth Ennis’s classic and often controversial graphic novels, to the big and small screen for over 15 years. HBO had their hands on it for a while but ultimately it fell through (we still hold onto our dreams of James Marsters in that role). Even the Weinsteins considered it after Kevin Smith pitched the idea, although head honcho Bob was rumoured to have been rather confused by it all. So the news that actor-writer Seth Rogen and his creative partner Evan Goldberg have acquired creative rights and closed a deal with AMC have left us cautiously optimistic but still realistic. Rogen’s writing resume is spotty (I for one like his Green Hornet movie but find his comedy to be not to my tastes) but material like this needs an enthusiastic mind behind it, and Rogen has enthusiasm in bags. No casting has been announced yet but we have plenty of suggestions if Rogen is interested!
While AMC have never been ones to shy away from darker material, be it meth labs or Don Draper’s misogyny, it remains to be seen if they’ll fully embrace the madness of Preacher, the tale of a small town Texan preacher who becomes possessed by the spawn of an angel and demon. As he becomes essentially the most powerful being on the planet, he teams up with his girlfriend Tulip and an Irish vampire called Cassidy to track down a missing-in-action God in order to hold him to task for his sins. Throw in scenes involving the Klu Klux Klan, the inbred descendent of Jesus Christ and a character called Arseface, and it’s not hard to see why so many studios have flinched at the prospect of adapting it.
Preacher isn’t the only classic graphic novel potentially ready for the oft-delayed adaptation treatment. Joseph Gordon-Levitt, the actor, director and ladies’ choice, was recently announced as the director for the Sandman movie, based on the masterful series by Neil Gaiman and others. It’s a tough gig for any seasoned director, much less one who only has one directorial effort under their belt, but Gordon-Levitt has the enthusiasm and the approval of David Goyer and Warner Brothers behind him. It remains to be seen how on earth one even begins to condense 10 volumes of intertwining narratives across countless characters, time, space and reality into one film.