Looks like solid buzz from Black Swan is doing good things for director Darren Aronofsky. He has recently been attached as a candidate for the new Superman film (guided by Christopher Nolan), and now Newsarama has a rumor that the visionary director is “being targeted” to direct Preacher, Columbia Pictures’ adaptation of Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon’s sprawling comic series.The story follows a preacher named Jesse Custer who becomes possessed with the offspring of a demon and an angel, an entity called Genesis. Custer goes on a quest to literally find God, who left Heaven when Genesis was formed. Imbued with the power of God, Custer reconnects with an old girlfriend and meets an alcoholic Irish vampire (?!) who join him on his quest. It’s one of the most ridiculous, blasphemous, and surprisingly entertaining stories I’ve ever read.
Preacher has had one of the most difficult story-to-screen journeys in recent history, and a film version still isn’t guaranteed: originally set up back in 1998 with Rachel Talalay (Tank Girl) directing, the project moved to Kevin Smith’s View Askew Productions (with James Marsden attached as Jesse Custer) before falling into development hell. In 2006, HBO was interested in adapting the comics into a TV series and hired Mark Steven Johnson (Daredevil) to write and produce.
Though his filmography might indicate otherwise, Johnson apparently pitched the company on developing each comic into a one-hour episode, wanting to literally use the comics as storyboards and translate it shot-for-shot to the small screen. HBO balked because of the religious controversy inherent in the story, and the project moved back into the film world, picked up by Sony/Columbia in 2008 with Sam Mendes (American Beauty) set to direct and John August (Big Fish) writing. That incarnation also fell through when Mendes was signed to direct the newest edition of the now-delayed James Bond series for MGM. August’s script is reportedly still being used, and producer Neil Moritz hopes to shoot the film in 2011.
So now Aronofsky is reportedly on the shortlist for both Superman and Preacher. Which do you think better suits him? Would you rather see the Requiem for a Dream director continue with original projects, or tackle one of these adaptations?