Let me just be frank up-front about this: I think that any adaptation of Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon’s cult-smash, highly controversial comic “Preacher” is a terrible idea. I also think that Kevin James making movies and Nick being allowed to operate a motorized vehicle are terrible ideas, and yet here we are: Clearly the world doesn’t give a damn what I think.
And so Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg – two guys mainly known for stoner comedies – will be developing a TV series adaptation of Preacher for AMC, for which they have been steadily assembled their cast. And now they finally have their titular lead, as Rogen and Goldberg took to Twitter to confirm recent reports that Dominic Cooper has officially signed to star as ex-preacher turned Biblical force of reckoning Jesse Custer in the show’s pilot.
— Seth Rogen (@Sethrogen) April 17, 2015
In the comics, Jesse Custer is a disillusioned preacher in a small Texas town who gets caught up in the middle of a massive battle between the forces of Heaven and Hell, and ends up merging with a half angel/half demon creature named Genesis that gives him the power of the Voice of God, which he can use to command anybody to do anything. So along with his ex-assassin ex-girlfriend Tulip and a hardy-partying Irish vampire named Cassidy, they embark on a road trip to literally find God and hold him accountable for every bad thing he’s ever done. Along the way they cross paths with the hellishly cool Saint of Killers, a religious cult dedicated to maintaining the sanctity of the Holy bloodline (and have thus produced an in-bred, retarded descendant of Jesus), evil mass-killing hillbillies, a man who has sex with meat, another man who has sex with everything else that walks the earth and a suicidal teenage boy with a face like a rectum, and much much more.
In other words, not the type of story that middle-America would normally tune into on a Sunday night. Not unless several severe concessions were made to the story’s wildest parts, which in turn would kind of rob it of its balls-to-the-wall Preacher-ness. But hey, I’m just an internet blogger who has read too many comics and watched too many movies and TV series, so what do I know?
Well, I do know that I’m actually not a fan of Cooper for this role, but that opinion is based solely on the fact that I’ve yet to see him do anything even remotely close to this, and don’t know if he could. As a smarmy, slicked-back Howard Stark running around the Marvel Cinematic Universe he’s perfect, but Jesse Custer requires the type of gritty, cool Southern swagger and drawl – think Matthew McConaughey at his coolest with a vicious mean-streak thrown on top – that I just don’t know if he can pull off.
Rogen and Goldberg, who are self-admitted gigantic fans of the original comics, clearly saw something though. Rogen has previously stated that this will not be a 100% literal adaptation of the comics and that they “really have to shape the whole series to some degree before you start writing the pilot, and we really want to change some of the ideas, not just to change them, but to expand on them and emphasize some and deemphasize others, and to shape some things that aren’t that well-shaped, and to answer some questions that aren’t answered and also, I honestly want to make it so that if you have read the comics that you don’t know what to expect.”
So yeah, maybe the version of Jesse Custer I have in my head – and which I don’t think Cooper is well suited for – is not the version we’ll actually end up getting. Which, clearly, will kind of make me rage a bit.
Cooper will be joining the already cast Ruth Negga (Agents of SHIELD) as Tulip, Joseph Gilgun (This Is England) as Cassidy, Lucy Griffiths (True Blood) as Emily Woodrow and Ian Colletti (Wonderland) as Arseface. Breaking Bad‘s Sam Catlin will act as showrunner, alongside EP’s Rogen and Goldberg.
Last Updated: April 20, 2015