I never want to see a movie made of Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon’s Preacher comic, but Hollywood is dead set on defying my wishes. The comic has been in development for about a decade now, and it’s had people as diverse as Mark Steven Johnson, the hacky director of Ghost Rider and Sam Mendes, the upscale hacky director of American Beauty, attached. Now a new director is coming on board and believe it or not he’s the worst yet.
It’s DJ Caruso, a man whose entire motion picture career is something of a mystery. His best work is Disturbia, which is an okay film at best. Salton Sea was one of those movies that felt like it was a good movie in the moment, probably because of the then-current movie landscape, but in retrospect is not that great. And everything else he has made has been varying degrees of seriously, truly godawful.
I’m not just saying that. His Ethan Hawke/Angelina Jolie movie Taking Lives is a candidate for one of the worst movies ever made. Eagle Eye is an incoherent piece of shit. Two For The Money is tedious, snoozing nonsense. And while I haven’t seen I Am Number Four the best I’ve heard about is that it’s not as terrible as you might have expected. The reality here is that DJ Caruso is not a good filmmaker; he doesn’t have a vision, he doesn’t have a style and he doesn’t even seem to have much by way of competence. As far as I can tell all he has is a very good relationship with Dreamworks, for some reason.
And now he’s probably getting Preacher. The word broke last week on Slashfilm and Collider confirmed it today. Some Twitter feed that’s supposedly Caruso’s said he signed the deal, but the feed is suspicious on many levels, including the fact that it has just about no followers and isn’t verified. But for me the confirmation from Collider is enough to despair.
I actually don’t think that the film will happen. Caruso was improperly attached to another Vertigo comic adaptation, Y The Last Man, forever, and that never took off. Preacher seems developmentally challenged - the source material is so extreme and profane and narratively sloppy (in a way that’s enjoyable) that I don’t even know where you begin adapting it - and I’m just hoping that it keeps on not happening.
But if you’re someone who isn’t very good at their job, who doesn’t seem very smart and who has no applicable skills, DJ Caruso should be your hero. He’s the perfect example of how you don’t need to have a shred of talent or ability to get ahead in Hollywood.