Assuming Mendes' deal goes through, he'll have to push back his work on "Preacher" or the movie will go to another filmmaker. Either way, it sounds as if movement on the fan-favorite project is stalling yet again, as was the case with the planned HBO adaptation.
But "Preacher," widely considered one of the greatest comic book series of the 1990s, deserves to get a big debut on the big screen. With that in mind, we thought it appropriate to give the project the old Secret Identity treatment and offer our casting suggestions for five of the book's most prominent characters.
Jesse Custer, the former man of god equipped with the word of god, can only be brought to life by a suitably chiseled and charismatic actor with an equal measure of dramatic and comedic timing.
Years ago, "X-Men" and "Superman Returns" star James Marsden was linked to the part, and while he's slightly older and wiser these days, he's still youthful enough to pull off Jesse's headstrong persona. If "Preacher" is still years away, he'll probably be out of Jesse's age range, but if filming started this year or next, he'd still be the right fit for the part.
You don't get much further from the term "damsel in distress" than Tulip O'Hare. She's the sharpest shooter amongst the mortal cast of "Preacher," has the sharpest tongue and isn't satisfied to wait around while her superpowered boyfriend does all of the dirty work.
Sound familiar? It should, because that's the exact type of character that Katee Sackhoff mastered on "Battlestar Galactica." The actress, now shooting a role on Fox's "24," has already buried her head in comic books for some unknown research. But why bother with research — the former Starbuck already has the perfect role in the form of Tulip.
Whoever plays Cassidy, perhaps the most complicated character in "Preacher," needs to have a face that you want to trust but are never quite sure of — there has to be a delicate balance between comedic buffoon and deadly adversary.
While he remained heroic throughout "Wanted," James McAvoy nonetheless proved his transformation from everyman to super-assassin throughout the course of that movie. He can play the guy who gets dumped on and the guy doing the dumping with equal proficiency. Seeing as that's a major cornerstone of Cassidy's character arc, I think McAvoy would be very well suited for the role.
Although Patrick Stewart is name-dropped as a dead ringer for the malicious Herr Starr in the pages of "Preacher," the erstwhile Professor Xavier is probably a bit too old to pull the role off these days.
Luckily, the perfect replacement is starting to rise the ranks of Hollywood — none other than the breakout star of "Inglourious Basterds," Christoph Waltz. Waltz, next seen as the villain in "The Green Hornet," has exactly what it takes to pull off Starr's unpredictable and often self-deprecating demeanor. With a bald head and some make-up, Waltz could easily slip into the false leg of the eventual All Father.
THE SAINT OF ALL KILLERS
Clint Eastwood is the fan-favorite pick for the role of the Saint of All Killers, a sheer force of nature with the power to kill both God and the Devil themselves with one crack of his mighty pistol. Unfortunately, Eastwood's retirement from acting and renewed directorial path removes him from the crowd.
With the assistance of some of the make-up magic that helped age Jeffrey Dean Morgan's role in "Watchmen," I think that Javier Bardem would be an incredible pick for the Saint. His turn as Anton Chigurh in "No Country for Old Men" remains one of the single most horrifying performances in recent cinema history, loaded with the same cold intensity that the Saint needs. Bardem only needs to work on his snarling skills — aside from that, he's the ideal candidate.
Who would you cast in the "Preacher" movie? Tell us your picks in the comments and on Twitter!