Columbia Pictures has picked up the film rights to Preacher, the popular 1990s Vertigo series, for an adaptation to be directed by Sam Mendes (upcoming Revolutionary Road).
The Hollywood Reporter says Neal Moritz and his Original Films are producing with Kickstart Productions’ Jason Netter.
Created by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon, “Preacher,” which ran from 1995-2000, told the story of a down-and-out Texas preacher possessed by Genesis, a supernatural entity conceived by the unnatural coupling of an angel and a demon.
Given immense powers, the preacher teamed with an old girlfriend and a hard-drinking Irish vampire and set out on a journey across America to find God — who apparently had abandoned his duties in heaven — and hold him accountable for his negligence.
The project was previously set up as a one-hour series at HBO but was put into turnaround. Mark Steven Johnson wrote a pilot which Howard Deutch was attached to direct.
A previous movie version, to have been produced by Kevin Smith’s View Askew, among others, got to the casting stage, with James Marsden attached for the title role and a reported budget of $25 million.