Mark Steven Johnson told Comics Continuum that he walked away from the 'Preacher' series at HBO rather than water it down for the network.
Johnson, whose 'Daredevil' and 'Ghost Rider' movies polarized comic fans, had been on board the development effort as a producer and potential director.
"We were budgeting and everything and it was getting really close to going," Johnson told The Continuum. "But the new head of HBO felt it was just too dark and too violent and too controversial. Which, of course, is kind of the point!
"It was a very faithful adaptation of the first few books, nearly word for word. They offered me the chance to redevelop it but I refused. I've learned my lesson on that front and I won't do it again. So I'm afraid it's dead at HBO."
Johnson said he's sure someone will pick up the film rights, and hopes that it's envisioned as a series of movies that preserve Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon's stories, but his personal involvement with it has ended.