Three troubled projects, one big time producer. Website Collider caught up with Neal Moritz to chat about the status on New Line Cinema’s Escape From New York remake, Warner Bros. Pictures’ troubled horror comedy Man-Witch and the long-long-long delayed adaptation of Preacher (how “The Walking Dead” got off the ground before this is beyond me).
Escape From New York
“We have a script. We’re out to directors right now,” Moritz tells Collider. “We’ve had quite a few meetings with directors and there’s a couple of actors that are really interested in playing Snake and we’ll see what happens.”
He also confirms that Gerard Butler is still a possibility.
“Gerard was really interested in playing it. He hasn’t read the new script yet, so we’ll probably have a conversation with him once we get a director on board.”
He also mentions that he expects the film to be R-rated, although I don’t know how you can even gauge that at this point in development for certain.
“Preacher,” which ran from 1995-2000, told the story of a down-and-out Texas preacher possessed by Genesis, a supernatural entity conceived by the unnatural coupling of an angel and a demon. Given immense powers, the preacher teamed with an old girlfriend and a hard-drinking Irish vampire and set out on a journey across America to find God — who apparently had abandoned his duties in heaven — and hold him accountable for his negligence.
Moritz explains that Sam Mendes is no longer directing the film adaptation because of his focus on the new Bond film.
“We now have a terrific script that John August wrote. We were originally talking with Sam Mendes about doing the movie. Sam Mendes is going to go off and do the Bond movie, so there’s another director that we’re talking to right now.”
What makes me happy as a fan is hearing that they’re planning to franchise it to tell the whole story. There’s NO WAY to tell it in one movie.
“We’ve got a great script. John August wrote a script that I think is terrific. The hardest thing was with all the books-the Preacher books-was how to distill it down. And what he made the smart decision instead of trying to cram everything into one, there’s plenty of room for 2 or 3 movies. So that’s what he’s done and he’s done a really faithful adaption but made it probably more accessible to a broader audience right now” he explains adding that he’s certain this puppy will be R-rated. “That movie’s definitely R-rated and it’s an amazing central character.” With the goal of hunting down God to make him pay for abandoning his creation, I’m not sure how it wouldn’t be R.
He also mentions that John August mentioned he’d be interested in directing the movie himself. We’ll see if this ever gets off the ground.
WB’s comedy is about a male schoolteacher who abruptly discovers he’s got witchlike abilities that lead him to be taken in by a coven of real witches. They send him to “witch school,” where he is the lone adult male, surrounded mostly by little girl witches-in-training. Jack Black was once attached to star.
Moritz explains that Todd Phillips is no longer directing and that a new director is being brought on the project.
“We have a script. We’re hiring another director on it right now. That’s a movie that’s come together, fallen apart many different times. I think we’re finally on the right track right now. We have a very good director who’s interested in doing it. The hardest part of the movie is going to be who can play that role,” he explains adding that the Zach Galifianakis rumor was old news. “When Todd Phillips was going to direct it, it was going to be Zach. It was going to be Jack Black at one point when Todd was going to direct it, so it’s been through a couple of different combinations right now and I think either of them would be really good for the part.”
For the full interview, click the link above or below.