When I was a child, I remember some parents declaring Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as evil and praying for all us kids who watched it. So if a fun cartoon about some pizza-loving amphibious reptiles had them running for the church pews back then, I can’t even imagine what a proper, true to form adaptation of controversial comic Preacher will do. But it looks like we’re going to find out.
As was recently announced, Seth Rogen and regular writing/directing partner Evan Goldberg, has been tapped by AMC to adapt writer Garth Ennis and artist Steve Dillon’s acclaimed comic, which follows the mis-adventures of Jesse Custer, an ex-small town reverend who accidentally gets possessed by and consequently inherits the power sof Genesis – a half angel/half demon creature – giving him the Voice of God, capable of commanding anybody to do anything. Jesse teams up with Tulip, an old girlfriend turned hitwoman, and Cassidy, a hard drinking Irish vampire, on a trans-American quest to find God – literally – and to hold him accountable for abandoning his creation. Along the way they run into all kinds of weirdness including bestiality practicing aristocrats, a meat worshiping businessman, the sacred spirit of killers, a secret society dedictated to protecting the inbred, soft in the head descendant of Jesus, and a shotgun suicide attempt survivor named Arseface. Like I said: controversial.
Even with TV networks like AMC and HBO pushing the boundaries of what is considered safe for TV, this is still one incredibly difficult tale of drunken debauchery to adapt without making some serious concessions. Well, you would think that, but according to Goldberg, they’re going to try and keep this pretty faithful.
“We just had a meeting with AMC and Garth Ennis, who’s the writer, and we all kind of seemed to agree that we’re going to stay as true to the comic as we can. We need to change some stuff but we’re not going to change much, I hope. We’re just going to do a little more of the preamble instead of doing flashbacks and restructure how we dole out the information a little, but we’re going to do the same characters, same story, same ending. We’re going try to stick to Preacher as best we can. We’re making it with Sam Catlin who did Breaking Bad, and so he might tell me I’m wrong about all of this and that the real way to do it is different because he’s much smarter and better at all this than I am. But we’re going try to stick to what it is as best we can.”
An adaptation of Preacher has been talked about for years now already, with director Sam Mendes (American Beauty, Skyfall, Perdition Road) having previously come the closest to fruition. What makes this latest adaptation from Goldberg and Rogen different, is that they are planning a full TV series, whereas the vast majority of previous pitches had all been for feature films, an approach that Goldberg feels is ill-suited to the material.
“We’re beyond excited, we’ve tried to make it for 10 years. The big difference is everyone else tried to make it a movie and it shouldn’t be a movie. It should be an AMC show, that’s the proper way for it to get done… It’s too big; you can’t do that in a movie. It’s just too big. You’ve gotta learn the characters, it’s all about a love triangle and you need to grow with them and see the woman swayed one way or the other, and in a movie you just can’t accomplish all that.”
Check out the full interview over here, where Goldberg also talks about his and Rogen’s upcoming talk-show comedy The Interview with frequent collaborator James Franco, as well as Console Wars, an adaptation of Blake Harris’ upcoming book detailing the epic 1990’s rivalry between video game console manufacturers Nintendo and Sega.
Last Updated: March 11, 2014
Alien Emperor Trevor
March 11, 2014 at 12:45
Comics are big TV business now. This, Constantine, the Marvel/Netflix deal, Flash – a lot to look forward too. Just wondering which one will bomb – because at least one will.