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John August Writing Mendes' Preacher
And Frankenweenie for Tim Burton

22 January 2009  |  Written by Helen O'Hara  

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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.


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Your Comments

I thought this was going to be made by HBO as a miniseries. There's no way the story will fit into less than 3 films. More

Posted by chrisball at 13:55 on 26 January 2009 | Report This Post

we'll see...
Preacher series is hot, but how well it will translate into film is iffy...hope they do it good. More

Posted by chewynewyork at 06:53 on 26 January 2009 | Report This Post

Look Out for the Church!
Given the neutering that the Golden Compass got (most of the anti-church stuff was removed making a lot of it puzzling as a film), I would be concerned on the toning down of the highly religious parts of the story. In fact given virtually every page of the comic books is blasphemous, I can't see how they can avoid it! We may well end up with a different film, but Mr Kate Winslet has a good track record for thoughtful films. More

Posted by mojojojo at 15:15 on 24 January 2009 | Report This Post

IT'LL SUCK...
...I reckon. I LOVE the book. It's an incredible piece of work, and anything that baits the Catholic church is okay by me. But it's too big for a movie. It's too big for THREE movies. HBO needs to get it sorted and make at least a ten parter, episodes an hour each. This may still not be enough. What's gonna get cut? Most of the Salvation story, if not all, would be an obvious casualty to me, regardless of how great it is. Cassidy's story will be rushed through and Tulip will probably be More

Posted by thejonner at 07:29 on 24 January 2009 | Report This Post

IT'LL SUCK...
More

Posted by thejonner at 07:25 on 24 January 2009 | Report This Post

Heeeeeere's Johnny!
Is it just me or does that picture of preacher look a lot like Johnny Depp? Ideal casting choice perhaps? More

Posted by SarahWright at 19:06 on 22 January 2009 | Report This Post

tim burton shouldn't be allowed to be associated with anything that is associated with preacher. More

Posted by Tomaszelhombre at 15:32 on 22 January 2009 | Report This Post

x
x More

Posted by Youshouldberunning at 15:09 on 22 January 2009 | Report This Post

Cassidy rules!
Awesome that this looks to be making headway. There shouldn't be a problem with the adaptation as long as they don't try and cram the whole series into one film, which would be idiocy. Each volume is pretty fertile in terms of plot and characters - Jesse's family background alone is enough for one film. I really want to see Cassidy on film. More

Posted by Youshouldberunning at 14:05 on 22 January 2009 | Report This Post

Katee sackhoff would be brilliant for Tulip. I think it would make a good trilogy like but there is a lot that can be trimmed away, as they are just pointless stories. More

Posted by lodge77 at 14:00 on 22 January 2009 | Report This Post

RE: John August Writing Mendes' Preacher
Paddy Considine as Cassidy please... More

Posted by zapflanagan at 13:33 on 22 January 2009 | Report This Post

I hope he meets the approval of Garth Ennis
Because he sounds like a good choice. Hopefully Patrick Stewart will be cast as Starr, Jesse's no-dick nemisis, and Sam Rockwell wilol be cast as Jesse. Please Mendes be on Road to Petition form and don't produce a Jarhead/Revolutionary Road (eg. dull and annoying). More

Posted by Taz69 at 13:15 on 22 January 2009 | Report This Post

Although I am happy to hear that this project will now (hopefully) pick up some momentum and (please God) get made, I can't help but feel kind of dissapointed they didn't go with the script that Ennis himself wrote back in 1998 (which was actualy in pre-production at one point before the cancellation of the project over buget issues). I know there wasn't any speculation that they were going to but I personaly would have loved to have seen the Ennis script used, focusing on the "Gone To Texa More

Posted by Serenity24 at 12:22 on 22 January 2009 | Report This Post

RE: John August Writing Mendes' Preacher
This is good news. I really like John August. Both his general professional output, and his other stuff (putting his scripts on his website, delivering great lectures, all that jazz). Hope this bodes well for r More

Posted by Acho at 11:07 on 22 January 2009 | Report This Post

It's inevitable ...
... that a lot of what's in the books will not be on the screen. There's just not enough time in two hours. I think the trick for August and Mendes will be to find an interesting thread (one of the many) and give us a satisfying beginning, middle and end. Personally, I hope there's a lot of the second book (Until the End of the World) in there, but only becuase that's my favourite. More

Posted by Nicky C at 09:33 on 22 January 2009 | Report This Post

I just can't see Preacher working as a film. There's too much story to cover. I think it could work as a TV series as the comics pretty much end on a cliffhanger each time but I just don't see how they can make it into a film without losing and changing too much. What do other fans think? More

Posted by shortguy at 09:25 on 22 January 2009 | Report This Post

good day to be a geek!
New watchmen viral and preachers coming to the screen! That's the stuff geekasms are made of! Didn't know Mendes was already attached to direct Preacher, but that does bode well. Still, there's quite a bit of story to cover from all comics for just one film... More

Posted by distortEd at 09:25 on 22 January 2009 | Report This Post

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