HBO hears word, brings 'Preacher' to small screen
EmptyHBO has seen the light and is bringing "Preacher" to the small screen.
The pay cable network is developing a one-hour series based on the popular 1990s Vertigo comics series. Mark Steven Johnson, the writer-director behind comic adaptations "Daredevil" and the upcoming "Ghost Rider," is writing the pilot, while Howard Deutch is attached to direct. Johnson and Deutch will executive produce along with Michael De Luca, George Agusto, Chris Bender and JC Spink.
"Preacher," which ran from 1995-2000, told the story of a down-and-out Texas preacher possessed by Genesis, a supernatural entity conceived by the unnatural coupling of an angel and a demon. Given immense powers, the preacher teamed with an old girlfriend and a hard-drinking Irish vampire and set out on a journey across America to find God -- who apparently had abandoned his duties in heaven -- and hold him accountable for his negligence.
The series was created by Irish-born writer Garth Ennis and British artist Steve Dillon, who will serve as co-executive producers. Ken F. Levin, who reps the duo, also will serve as co-exec producer.
The series -- which developed a rabid fan base -- was known for tackling religious and political issues, its dark and violent sense of humor and its observations of American culture. It also was one of the series that helped define Vertigo, the adult-oriented line of comics from DC Comics.
There have been several attempts to bring the comic to the screen, whether big or small, but nothing stuck. A movie version, to have been produced by Kevin Smith's View Askew, among others, got to the casting stage, with James Marsden attached for the title role and a reported budget of $25 million.
The project reunites Johnson with Deutch; Johnson wrote "Grumpier Old Men," which Deutch directed. Deutch's directing credits include TV's "Gleason," the pilot for "Melrose Place" and the 1986 film "Pretty in Pink." He is repped by ICM.
Johnson is repped by CAA.