D.J. Caruso Doesn’t Understand PREACHER; Drops Names for Major Characters

     March 17, 2011


Throughout the day, movie news sites have been picking up a quote from director D.J. Caruso (I Am Number Four) about various actors he sees for major characters in his adaptation of Preacher.  But this is just Caruso dropping names.  While I’m sure actors have been approaching him, the fact that he wants Chris Pine for Jesse Custer or that Shia LaBeouf wants to play Arseface (and I assume Caruso is joking when he says Alex Pettyfer is interested in The Saint of Killers), those are just empty conversations.  There are no serious negotiations going on and who knows if the scheduling would pan out.  We’re so far away from casting at this point that a director dropping names of famous actors off the top of his head in the middle of an interview shouldn’t be newsworthy.

What is newsworthy is Caruso revealation that he doesn’t understand what makes Preacher work.  Hit the jump for more.

Here’s what Caruso told CloneWeb when asked about how he plans to approach Garth Ennis’ politically-incorrect, violent, and subversive graphic novels:

It is a crazy road trip and I think what’s amazing and what makes Sony so brave is they can see there’s a real universality to the story when you have good vs. evil. I think when you have these crazy characters, that are not necessarily politically correct, there’s something generally attractive to those characters and those elements. But at the end of the day it really is a story about good vs. evil and the decisions that you make. Whether the demons are going to win or whether the Genesis or the good inside of Jesse is going to be there. So I think there’s a great universality that makes the movie commercial but at the same time it’s one of those that will shock you.

Okay, first off: there’s nothing brave about a studio seeing what’s universal in a story.  Studios want universality because then all audiences can relate to it.  But more importantly, Preacher is not a story about good vs. evil.  Yes, there are mostly-good and mostly-evil characters, but it’s more of a philosophical examination of a God who has left his creation but still demands the love of that creation.  If anything, Preacher is a grand revenge tale against an absentee father figure.  But even if you don’t want to get into that, the books also play with the notion of the mythic Western hero.  If you only see a “good vs. evil” struggle in Preacher, then you’ve missed everything cool and interesting about the books.

Listening to D.J. Caruso, I don’t doubt he’s enthusiastic about the property, but it sounds like he’s going to craft a film that’s thematically simplistic but filled with odd-ball characters that will constantly remind you how “edgy” it is.

He starts talking about Preacher around the 2-minute mark:

Rencontre avec D.J Caruso et Alex Pettyfer by cloneweb

  • Ryan

    Alright, now my day has officially sucked.

    Aronofsky dropping out of The Wolverine, David Slade taking the gig as Daredevil’s new director and now Caruso says he doesn’t have a clue on what type of source material he is adapting.

    At least Snyder was passionate about Watchmen and made the best movie he could and understood what it was all about, even though it wasn’t perfect. You still could see everyone giving their own blood and sweat in order to make that film work and I applaud them for that.

    But now what’s next, Joss Whedon is fired from The Avengers or Christopher Nolan quits TDKR?

  • Elitist Prick

    Developing a comic book property that only comic book fans care about in a way that will do nothing but piss off those very fans? With brilliant decisions like these, it’s a wonder studios continue to see their profits dwindle!

    For the Wolverine sequel, they should take away his claws and his healing powers. No one cares about that stuff anyway.

  • Kingdom

    What that completely empty and stupid response proves isn’t that he doesn’t understand Preacher or the characters, its that he has never read the graphic novels. I bet you at most he read a summary of the plans for the film adaptation and that is all.

    He just thinks that this is the kind of film that will further his career by letting him start to play with the $200 million films like Bay and Spielberg do.

    I am truly amazing how sterotypically empty that answer was. Its like something you expect to see being spoofed on TV when they make fun of Hollywood and the like.

    I feel bad for the die hard fans of Preacher because that answer indicates this will be a water downed PG13 mess where its essentially a guy with a superpower that decides he needs to stop a cult with the help of his ex-girlfriend and vampire. All the undertones and the like that made it great will be tossed as too complicated, violent and not part of the “universality” of the project.

  • S@n

    Well, he was talking to Chris Pine before about “Art of Making Money”, I think ” Preacher “is VERY DIFFERENT , right ?

    But I think Chris Pine can do it !

  • nelson

    umm hello this is the same guy who trouble adapting y the last man

    preacher is too much for him to handle if he could’nt handle Y

  • Matt

    For some perspective, Ennis’ casting choice for Jesse when Preacher was first published was Johnny Depp…Last I heard he preferred Lucas Black.

    • Matt

      Folks may agree or disagree with those choices, but at least they have a little personality. I wouldn’t mind Taylor Kitsch give it a go, but he’s got the whole blockbuster thing going on…

    • broski

      Josh Holloway/Sawyer from Lost would be perfect as Jesse IMO

  • Nabster

    Why even make Preacher? It’s not a comic that will translate too well to film, at least not as a mainstream film. The Boys, that should be made into movies.

  • broski

    I actually think Shia Labeouf would be perfect for Arseface…the other two choices don’t fit at all though…that being said, I have very little hope for this movie after hearing what he had to say.

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  • GerryA

    D.J. Caruso should play arseface. No makeup required.

    He’ll probably turn Cassidy into a fiddly-dee Oorish Leprechaun too.

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