Sam Mendes is working on adapting Garth Ennis and Steve Dillion's Preacher for film, but contrary to what the trades have said, he isn't quite as far along as they might have you believe. Mendes recently told Empire Online|http://www.empireonline.com/news/feed.asp?NID=23589 that he is still attracted to the project, and would love to direct, but that there currently isn't a script.
"This is a typical Variety announcement," Mendes said. "'Mendes to direct Preacher' - I wish! Basically they should have written, 'Mendes in development with Preacher'. What I'm doing is, I've gotta find a script. I've just got to get it written."
Mendes went on to describe why he's attracted to the project, and expressed his fondness of the comic. "It's brilliant, it's an incredible twisted vision," he said. "There's so much of it you couldn't possibly fit it all into one movie. It's just about what you keep and what you leave out, and how you structure the story. But just to have that toy set again, being able to paint on a big canvas and to say 'I am gonna do crazy crane shots and massive action sequences again because I want to,' it's exciting."
The comic of Preacher focuses on Jesse Custer, a small town preacher who ends up with an extremely powerful spirit by the name of Gensis within him. Born of the mating of an angel and a demon, Genesis gives Jesse the power to literally command anything with the word of God. Custer finds himself on a quest to find God and hold the deity accountable for the state of the world, along with his on-again, off-again girlfriend Tulip, and his best friend, the vampire Cassidy.
While Mendes isn't interested in discussing casting for any of the film's main characters, there is one character whose inclusion and casting he is willing to consider - the Duke. In the comics, John Wayne's ghost appears frequently to offer Jesse counsel and advice.
"That's an interesting one, I wonder what the John Wayne estate's gonna say about that," teased Mendes. "We'll see, we'll have to get them on side..."