John August Writing Mendes' Preacher

And Frankenweenie for Tim Burton

Could it really be happening? Preacher already has a director attached, in the shape of Sam Mendes, and now it seems that John August has signed on to write the script as well. But it won't be his only project: he's also working on Frankenweenie for regular collaborator Tim Burton. Frankly, colour us excited.

Preacher is the story of Jesse Custer, a Southern minister who is possessed by the offspring of an angel and a demon, a power great enough to challenge the Almighty itself. So Custer heads off, with girlfriend Tulip and vampire mate Cassidy in tow, looking from answers from God itself, pursued by family, foes and the Saint of Killers (think Clint Eastwood without the mercy). With loads of sex, violence, blasphemy and general shock value, Preacher's massively popular but perhaps not the easiest story to adapt, so let's hope August has the stuff for it.

Frankenweenie, meanwhile, was a live-action short film that Tim Burton made waaaaay back in 1984 - but it's about to be a full-length stop-motion tale. The story, a sort of comedy/horror, sees a student bring his dog back to life after it is killed by a car. This new version will be black-and-white, like the original, but will also be 3D. Most of the Corpse Bride crew is involved, with Burton producing and aiming for a 2011 release. August has worked with Burton five times now, including Big Fish, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Corpse Bride and the upcoming Dark Shadows.

In less happy news, the reason that August is able to take on all this work is because his comic-book adaptation, Shazam!, has stalled at Warner Bros. and is now looking for new writers. Still, he can comfort himself with this involvement in two of the more interesting projects headed our way over the next few years.