My comic book collection is heavily influenced by crime stories and the occult. 100 Bullets, Powers, Hellblazer, and Preacher. Preacher is probably one of the strangest, offensive and fascinating books i have ever read and im sure some of you will agree with me. So when it was announced that D.J. Caruso would be directing the big screen adaptation, i wanted to do this
Any person experiencing some sort of excitement about this news has probably never read the book.
So what is Preacher about?
Preacher tells the story of Jesse Custer, a down-and-out preacher in the small Texas town of Annville. Custer was accidentally possessed by the supernatural creature named Genesis in an incident which killed his entire congregation and flattened his church.
Genesis, the product of the unauthorized, unnatural coupling of an angel and a demon, is an infant with no sense of individual will. However, as it is composed of both pure goodness and pure evil, it might have enough power to rival that of God Himself. In other words, Jesse Custer, bonded to Genesis, may have become the most powerful being in the whole of living existence.
Custer, driven by a strong sense of right and wrong, goes on a journey across the United States attempting to (literally) find God, who abandoned Heaven the moment Genesis was born. He also begins to discover the truth about his new powers. They allow him, when he wills it, to command the obedience of those who hear and comprehend his words. He is joined by his old girlfriend Tulip O'Hare, as well as a hard-drinking Irish vampire named Cassidy.
With the exception of the dark and twisted mind of Garth Ennis, what makes preacher such a complex and interesting read is the wealth of characters it contains. They are eccentric; hilarious; often depraved and perverted; and morally bankrupt. Every single one of them contributes essentially to the story. This brings me to my issue with this movie announcement - How will this translate to the big screen? I would honestly love to be optimistic about the idea of this movie but its quite impossible to shake this nagging feeling of dread especially if you consider the following factors.
D. J. Caruso and Shia Lebouf
Caruso is the director responsible for I Am Number Four, Eagle Eye, and Disturbia. These were decent popcorn movies but nothing ground breaking. While i hate to jump the gun, it doesnt seem like he has the capabilities to direct a movie that involves more than basic characters. Eagle Eye and Disturbia also have something else in common and that would be Shia Lebouf. There are some directors who could be considered creatures of habit when it comes to their casting choices. Nolan and Caine, Bale, Hardy; Martin Scorsese and Leonardo Dicaprio; Tim Burton and Johnny Deppy. Call me crazy but it wouldnt be a stretch to think Caruso would consider casting this kid as Jesse Custer. He has major box office appeal and having him as the headlining star could mean a huge profit for them. Plus, Shia was in Constantine. Apparently some of you actually liked that movie. *blank stare*
Like i mentioned earlier, Preacher has some very interesting characters that span over 9 Trade Paper Backs! Even though some of them might be considered minor, they all add to the bigger picture. While its a given that major players like Jesse, Tulip, Cassidy, Herr Starr, Arseface, and Saint of Killers will make an appearance (keeping my fingers crossed), some of the other characters will be left on the cutting room floor because lets face it, how will you manage to fit them all into a movie that would run for maybe a little over 2 hours? Could one of the best things about the book be its downfall on the silver screen? I dont know about you guys but i want to see Jody the Psychopath and the beastiality inclined T.C. on screen.
For those unfamiliar with Ennis's body of work, Preacher is not your daddy's comic book. It is depraved and it will offend you and probably your religious beliefs. If you can get over that, you can appreciate the story telling. The sex, violence, blood, gore and perversion that is depicted on every page of this novel warrants a rating of NC-17. With hollywood's propensity to water down everything and get that PG-13 or soft R rating, could Preacher be the latest victim in their quest to always make bank?
The Walking Dead Treatment
The Zombie series has proven without a doubt that it can work! AMC took a chance on it with just 6 episodes and they were rewarded with 8.1 million (4 million viewers in the 18-49 adult demographic) people tuning in to the season finale. Why not go this route with Preacher? Like a lot of you said when this news broke, this entire volume would make more sense as a series on HBO, Starz, FX or even AMC. I appreciate the plethora of CBMs that we will be getting this coming summer, but not every comic book needs to be a movie and Preacher is one of them. Am i jumping the gun? Maybe. I mean...there is no trailer yet. I am just venting based on what i know so far about this project. Maybe Columbia Pictures will have a change of heart and decide to turn it into a series. Anything can happen. I did fast and pray for 30 Days for Henry Cavill to be cast as Superman (yes that was ALL ME!). This book may not be as popular as Captain America/Green Lantern/Yo Gabba Gabba but i am pretty sure its fans don't want another Jonah Hex.