Sam Mendes to direct ‘Preacher’

Columbia adapting supernatural graphic novel

Sam Mendes will direct a bigscreen adaptation of the supernatural graphic novel “Preacher” for Columbia Pictures.

Created by writer Garth Ennis and artist Steve Dillon, graphic novel focuses on the preacher of a Texas town, who is struggling to get by and is driven only by his strong moral sense. When the city is decimated by an otherworldly force, he embarks on a journey across the country to take on the evil.

Supernatural project is a departure for Mendes, who is best known for tackling suburban angst in such films as “American Beauty” and the upcoming Leonardo DiCaprio-Kate Winslet starrer “Revolutionary Road.”

But Mendes isn’t new to the world of comicbooks: His drama “Road to Perdition” was also adapted from a graphic novel.

Neal Moritz (“I Am Legend”) is producing through his Sony-based Original Film banner alongside Kickstart Prods.’ Jason Netter (“Wanted”). Ken Levin and Ori Marmur exec produce.

Columbia is also developing another Ennis comicbook, “The Boys,” which Moritz and Netter are producing together.

The 75-issue “Preacher” series, which ran from 1995-2000, has been lauded with numerous kudos, including four Eisner Awards.