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