Okay, if I’m going to keep posting on Bilateral Warp, I guess you should know a few things about me. To start, my name really is Shawn Hopkins, I live in eastern Kentucky, and I am a nerd.
More specifically, as a nerd, the main focus of my nerdery is comic books. I have been reading them for as long as I can remember, as long as I can remember is more than 30 years, and I have a large storage building stuffed with all kinds of comics from the Golden Age on. If you see me lost in thought somewhere and ask me what I am thinking about, there’s an embarrassingly high chance that the honest answer will be “Jughead.”
So maybe, in retrospect, you didn’t really need to know all that, but it might help you to understand why I am FREAKING OUT at the news that a Preacher television series is actually being developed at AMC.
Preacher, a 90s Vertigo comic series created by Irish writer Garth Ennis and English artist Steve Dillon, is about a badass southern clergyman named Jesse Custer who picks a fight with God himself, and the bizarre friends and enemies he meets along his journey through the U.S. and other places. To say that Preacher is one of my favorite comics of all time would be an epic understatement, and that’s probably some kind of oxymoron so you shouldn’t do that. It’s a crazy, grotesque, hilarious, wise, profane, funny, cruel, humane modern-day American western filtered through the minds of FOREIGNERS. Their outsider perspectives provide an amazingly fresh look at hidebound American culture.
Of course, if it were, like, CBS that was adapting it, my response to the news would be meh. I might cry a little, that’s between me and my pillow. But it’s not, it’s AMC, which as you might have noticed is doing a bang-up job with The Walking Dead. So there’s not only a chance there will be a Preacher TV series, there’s a chance there will be a Preacher TV series and it will be GOOD.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, This is the End’s Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg are teaming with Breaking Bad’s Sam Catlin to adapt the show after a long and complicated development history that involved attempts at a feature film and HBO rejecting the property because it was “too dark and too violent and too controversial.”
Here’s a very stiff quote about it from AMC that sounds like it came from a press release.
“This is a great piece of material for AMC, and we’re thrilled to begin working with the creative team behind it to make another iconic AMC series,” said Joel Stillerman, AMC exec vp original programming, production and digital content.
Here’s a much better quote from Garth Ennis.
“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 two-hour movie,” Ennis said. “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.”
It’ll be a while before the show gets to air, so that should give you time to buy the trade paperbacks and read the series. Even if the show doesn’t get past the pilot stage, or if it turns out to be more Keanu Reeves John Constantine than Andrew Lincoln Rick Grimes, you’ll still have that. Until the end of the world.
Check out the full Hollywood Reporter article here.