Darren Aronofsky To Direct Preacher?

Jesse Custer challenges Clark Kent

Okay, what’s going on? First it was Wolverine 2, then Superman, and now Darren Aronofsky is being talked about as a possible director for Preacher. Does he suddenly have a jones for comics?

Of course, there’s nothing sudden about it. Long before the current spate of rumours, Aronofsky was attached to an adaptation of Frank Miller’s epochal Batman saga Batman: Year One. And then there was Robocop: not in itself a comic, but, frankly, as near as dammit.

The idea of him directing Preacher then, doesn’t come from as far out of leftfield as it might seem. And as mouthwatering a prospect as an Aronofsky-directed Superman might be, the off-kilter counterculture vibe of Garth Ennis’ gleefully blasphemous and foul-mouthed masterwork might be a better fit for the director. Plus it would almost certainly mean a Preacher with a Clint Mansell score. You betcha!

It’s by no means a done deal though. The story comes from an anonymous source, possibly within Columbia Pictures, who told Newsarama that Aronofsky is “being targeted” for Preacher by the studio. The project has been without a director since Sam Mendes moved on, so the position is certainly vacant. Joe Carnahan (Smokin’ Aces, The A-Team) expressed an interest, but if this story is true, it seems like nobody heard.

For those who’ve missed the party so far, Preacher's 75 issues, roughly speaking, follow the Reverend Jesse Custer (who, possessed by the godlike offspring of an angel and a demon, has some rather special abilities), his ass-kicking girlfriend Tulip and their amoral vampire compadre Cassidy, on an odyssey trailing the AWOL God. Along the way there are meat fetishists, military fascists, esoteric religious sects, necromantics, supernatural gunslingers, nuclear weapons, John Wayne, Bill Hicks, and a hapless vigilante called Arseface. And that doesn’t describe the half of it.

Author Garth Ennis prepared his own screenplay as long as twelve years ago, before the comics run had even concluded. Somewhere along the line the plans turned towards a TV series, but now Preacher is back at the movies. Frankly though, with so much raw material to work with, whoever signs up for Preacher could do with an arrangement like The Dark Tower’s. But we'd wager that nobody is going to let anyone put an inbred Christ-descendent on a screen of any size.

Neal Moritz is the producer, and the most recent screenplay was written by John August (Big Fish). Both Preacher and Superman are currently penciled in to shoot in 2011, so Aronofsky may land one of them, but it’s very unlikely he could do both. Which should he aim for?