The rumors are true, Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg (they made that little movieThis is the End) are adapting the nineties comic classic, Preacher for AMC with Sony TV. The project will be executive produced and written by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg. Sam Catlin (Breaking Bad) will serve as executive producer and showrunner. By the sounds of things Catlin will be the day to day man while Rogen and Goldberg are the long term planners.
Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg said, “This is amazing! We've tried for seven years to work on Preacher and we're so psyched AMC is finally letting us. It is our favorite comic of all time, and we're going to do everything we can to do it right. Humperdoo!”
Based on Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon’s book, Preacher follows Reverend Jesse Custer, a tough Texas preacher who has lost his faith, has learned that God has left Heaven and abandoned His responsibilities. He finds himself the only person capable of tracking God down, demanding answers, and making Him answer for His dereliction of duty. Accompanying Jesse on his journey is his former girlfriend and a friendly vampire who seems to prefer a pint in the pub to the blood of the innocent. On his tail is one of the most iconic bad guys in print – an immortal, unstoppable killing machine named the Saint of Killers – a western lone gunman archetype whose sole purpose is to hunt and kill Jesse.
Garth Ennis said, “Steve Dillon and I are very happy to see Preacher being developed for TV, which seems a much more natural home for the story than a 2-hour movie. Between them, Sony TV and AMC have brought viewers two of my favorite shows with Breaking Bad and Mad Men, and it's exactly that kind of creative commitment and courage that Preacher needs. Obviously it’s taken a while, but Ken Levin along with Neal Moritz and his team refused to give up, long after the point when I myself grew skeptical, and their unrelenting enthusiasm for the project has gotten us where we need to be. I’m particularly impressed that Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg and Sam Catlin understand Preacher fully -- meaning they get it for what it is, not some vague approximation. All in all, it looks like Preacher can now be brought to TV in a way that I'd previously not have thought possible, and I very much appreciate that Steve and I have been included in the conversation in the way that we have.”
The prospect of adapting Preacher is one I have trepidation over. Preacher is the quintessential nineties comic for me, that decade may be more remembered for the rise of Image and grunge but those stories haven’t aged well. Preacher takes the aesthetics of the nineties with an excellent story, that to be blunt is kind of fucked. This book is just messed up in many many ways. The involvement of Rogen and Goldberg may give the idea that this would be a comedy (a reading one could say is necessary) but the press release saysPreacher is a dramatic series.
For AMC this move can only be seen as a positive. The network recently had a total failure into the form of Low Winter Sun and has split the final season of Mad Men into two just to buy more time. Development of a Walking Dead spinoff furthered the view that AMC was not going to be the adventurous development type that led them to becoming AMC. With Preacher they get an ambitious project that if done well could be a critical and commercial success but is quasi safe due to the established IP.
Now if you don’t mind, I’m going to start fantasy casting Saint of Killers.