Not content to rest on the laurels of its comic book-inspired hit THE WALKING DEAD, AMC has committed to developing a series based on Preacher, one of the most acclaimed comics series of all time — it’s often mentioned right alongside Watchmen.
Somewhat surprisingly, the comedic team of Seth Rogan and Evan Goldberg (This Is the End) will write and serve as executive producers, while Sam Catlin (late of BREAKING BAD) will be the show-runner. Rogan’s The Green Hornet movie was not nearly as bad as it was made out to be, and This Is the End entailed some seriesly demonic end-of-the-world stuff. So maybe these guys can pull off a PREACHER TV series.
In a joint statement, Rogan and 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!”
It certainly appears that the guys have a lot of enthusiasm and affection for the project, so I do take solace from that. I just hope they aren’t willing to compromise too much on the violence and the sexuality and the religious content. Casting will be a key component of this series; they have to get it right.
Written by Garth Ennis and drawn by Steve Dillon, the Preacher comic book series from Vertigo (home of The Sandman and other influential series) told the story of Rev. Jesse Custer, a Texas preacher who lost his faith and is possessed by the supernatural entity called “Genesis” who grants him the power of the Word of God, with which Jesse can compel anyone to do his bidding. Jesse learns that God has left heaven, so Jesse sets out to make God answer for abandoning his creation. Meanwhile, a group of angels summon the immortal Saint of Killers to stop Jesse and reclaim Genesis.
Preacher is not the first property I would have expected to be optioned for TV, but it’s a damned good one. Following the success of SMALLVILLE and ARROW on The CW, comic book-based series are the next big thing, with AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. already on the air and shows like GOTHAM and CONSTANTINE on the network horizon. As a cable outlet with a reputation for high quality (MAD MEN) and risk-taking (WALKING DEAD), AMC has to go with something more extreme than, say, a more bland, street-level Daredevil series. So I’m very curious to see what comes of PREACHER.