An interview with Mark Steven Johnson about adapting PREACHER here. Still hopeful.
One thing, though:
NRAMA: People have always said either HBO or the BBC for things of that nature.
MSJ: Yeah but there's no way the BBC would really do the book. The stuff is so controversial, so violent, so sexy and so funny. Everything about it is spectacular. You can't do it in a movie because it would take so many movies combined to tell the whole story and you can't do it on any network television, just for all the obvious reasons. So it was really HBO or nothing. When I went in to pitch it to them I said "I hope you love this as much as I do because if you don't want to do it it's done." There's nowhere else to go.
Can't say I agree with that. The BBC did all kinds of mad shit as bad or worse than PREACHER over the years (BRIMSTONE AND TREACLE anyone? Some ELEPHANT? More BLACK EYES, Vicar?). The big sticking point with them would clearly be the money (and the anti-fantasy bias of their commissioners). Though I'd love to see The Beeb go in with HBO on this, like they did on ROME and EXTRAS, in order to give me a little extra confidence that they'd be getting certain aspects of the books right. Like the stuff set in Ireland. And on that note, I've had another idea on who to cast as Cassidy: Irish comedian Andrew Maxwell. Dunno if he has any thesp leanings, though. He looks the part, as opposed to, say, Dylan Moran, and has the accent, unlike, say, Owen O'Neill (who does have thesp leanings, looks the part, but has the wrong accent - though, yes, I'm sure an Northern Irish actor wouldn't find doing a Dublin accent that much of a stretch).
Though I also realise I'm obsessing somewhat on Johnson casting an Irish comedy actor for Cassidy. Chances are it'll go to a pretty young Californian bit part actor who'll thoroughly mangle the accent, David Boreanaz style.