Last month screenwriter John August discussed why the movie adaptation of the Southern Gothic horror comic PREACHER wasn't moving forward. Recently, while promoting SKYFALL, Sam Mendes went on record to discuss the similar topic of why he chose to walk away from the project:
"Well it’s off my radar because the muscle that I wanted to kind of flex, the urge to do something like that, went into [Skyfall]. For a while I wanted to do something on a bigger scale, I wanted to try and tackle a movie that wasn’t entirely real and I wanted to see whether I was capable of directing action, so I feel like I’ve done a lot of it in this movie."
The Academy Award-winning director also explained that, despite being rooted in religious horror, the source material's tone was perhaps too gritty and realistic for him to handle:
"The other problem was I could not find a way of making Preacher-- tonally it’s a very difficult thing to make work, and there’s a reason why it’s struggled so much... it takes place in the real world and we’re surrounded now by fantasy and superhero genre pictures which are full of eye candy. And actually, Preacher is much more real world, it’s more of a Southern Gothic with elements of the fantastic in it; it’s a quite difficult thing to balance. So it wasn’t just that I sort of walked away from it because they wouldn’t pay for it or anything like that, it was because I couldn’t really make it work, I couldn’t find a way of defining what it was onscreen. My strong suspicion is someone will come along who has a really good take on it and is able to do it."
"...it was clear after a while I just didn’t have the answer. And also that thing that you hope will happen as a director, where a little switch is flicked inside you and you think ‘Yes I’ve got it, I know how to do this,’ I never found the way."
Mendes noted his belief the property would translate best to the small screen:
"If you look at somewhere between Sons of Anarchy, The Walking Dead, True Blood-- that world of real but fantasy, the two mixed, it’s young and sexy and it’s got many, many chapters. Actually when I saw that it was a possible HBO or a possible cable show, I thought ‘that’s a great way to do it,’ because then you can let it develop gradually, because there’s also a huge amount of it."
So there you have it. Mendes scratched his action itch with SKYFALL, which is great, but where does that leave us PREACHER fans, hrm? Out in the goddamned cold with nothing but our stacks of trade paperbacks and memories of Arseface to keep us going. Let us all collectively weep over the fact Jesse Custer and his crew still haven't made it into the moving pictures medium (preferably in the talback section below).