Sam Mendes Finds God, Told To Direct ‘Preacher’

Much like God Himself, I’ll believe this film is happening when I actually see it.

Sam Mendes has signed on to direct a film adaption of the comic book series Preacher, created by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon. This is only the latest in a series of false teases regarding a cinematic translation of Preacher. Since the comic ended its five year run in 2000, Kevin Smith, Mark Steven Johnson, and HBO have all expressed interest in the property, some going so far as to budget the film, cast the lead, and start lining up guest directors. This announcement has just as much cache as the others, and since they all eventually fizzled out I won’t be holding my breath.

Preacher is about Jesse Custer, a preacher in the small Texas town of Annville, who is struck by a ball of fire falling from the sky and accidentally possessed by an entity named Genesis. The incident kills his entire congregation, provides Custer with supernatural powers, and sends him off on a quest to find God after he discovers that the deity had abandoned humanity shortly after creating the world. He’s joined by his hot ex-girlfriend, Tulip, and his new Irish vampire friend, Cassidy. The series is violent, sexy, hilarious, and thought provoking…

…And it’ll never fit properly into a single two hour movie. I was most thrilled back when the plan was to turn the comic into a series on HBO, with each episode covering the events of a single issue. There’s way too much information and activity to cram into one movie. Mendes (American Beauty, Jarhead) is a talented director with a strong visual sense, but is that enough to make a worthwhile Preacher film? Sadly, no it’s not.

Are you interested in seeing a Preacher feature film? Who do you see as Jesse Custer and the gang?