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Sam Mendes To Direct Preacher Adaptation

Director Sam Mendes will direct PREACHER for Columbia, reports THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. The studio just picked up the rights to the popular 1990s Vertigo comic series about a down-and-out Texas preacher possessed by Genesis, a supernatural entity born from an angel and a demon.

The preacher travels cross-country with an ex-girlfriend and an alcoholic Irish vampire to find God, who has abandoned his duties in heaven.

PREACHER, which has no writer yet, was originally set up at HBO as a one-hour series but got put into turnaround. Mark Steven Howard wrote a pilot and Howard Deutch was attached at one time to direct.

This permutation of the comic, which ran from 1995 to 2000, will be produced by Neal Mortiz under Original Films with Kickstart Productions' Jason Netter. PREACHER was created by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon.

Another previous version was at Kevin Smith's View Askew for a movie version and got to the casting stages, with James Marsden attached to star in the title role and an estimated budget of $25 million.

Mendes is likely to lead the search for screenwriters. Moritz and Netter are working on another adaptation of Ennis' comic THE BOYS, also at Columbia. Mendes, who is putting the finishing touches on Leonardo DiCaprio-Kate Winslet drama REVOLUTIONARY ROAD, also helmed comic adaption ROAD TO PERDITION in 2002.