After a long stint in development hell and several failed attempts to bring Garth Ennis’ cult comic Preacher to either television or the big screen, writers and producers Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg have managed to do what others before them could not. Soon, everyone who wasn’t in attendance when the premiere episode was screened at SXSW 2016 will have a chance to see whether or not the duo behind the likes of Superbad, This is the End, and The Interview have found a successful take on some pretty tricky source material intended for mature audiences – something AMC has had some measure of success with.
And although you might think AMC is a little preoccupied at the moment, what with the anticipated arrival of Negan on this Sunday’s season 6 finale of The Walking Dead, they haven’t forgotten the premiere of another high-profile comic series adaptation is right around the corner. Thankfully for the network, its golden goose is the perfect place to do a little in-house marketing, and they have a brand new teaser trailer to prove it.
The teaser is chock full of new footage and should get fans ready to see Jesse Custer, Tulip, Cassidy, Arseface, as they finally make their way into live-action. In fact, this is the first glimpse of Arseface in action (whatever that action might be) since a poster revealing the character’s final look was released a short time ago. But the menacing teaser is more than a batch of supporting character reveals, as it presents a distinct tone for the series that involves plenty of macabre, supernatural goings-on and more than a few instances of brutal, bloody violence.
Where the teaser really stands out, though, is in its vague, portentous voiceover that’s full of chilling things to say, like “Something got loose. We don’t know how it ended up here. We’re not sure why,” and “This is why I’ve come home. To save you.” These creepy bits of dialogue are sprinkled gently over some footage that looks perfectly suited to the unsettling nature of the words, even without the benefit of context. That seems to be the route AMC is taking in terms of its approach to marketing the show: relying partially on the name recognition of the title amongst comic fans and playing up the darker, violent, and more eerie aspects of the series as a way to hook casual viewers who tune in regularly for The Walking Dead.
And if anyone reading happens to be one of those casual viewers who is unsure what the series will actually entail, AMC included this handy dandy official synopsis along with the new teaser:
“‘Preacher’ is a supernatural, twisted and darkly comedic drama that follows a West Texas preacher named Jesse Custer, who is inhabited by a mysterious entity that causes him to develop a highly unusual power. Jesse, his badass ex-girlfriend Tulip and an Irish vagabond named Cassidy come together and when they do, they are thrust into a crazy world populated by a cast of characters from Heaven, Hell and everywhere in between. The series stars Dominic Cooper as Jesse Custer, Joseph Gilgun as Cassidy, Ruth Negga as Tulip, Lucy Griffithsas Emily, W. Earl Brown as Sherriff Root, Anatol Yusef as DeBlanc, Tom Brooke as Fiore, Derek Wilson as Donnie Schenck and Ian Collettias Eugene/Arseface.”
It seems likely that, as the premiere of Preacher gets closer, the marketing will find a way to factor in other elements of the series, like the abovementioned “darkly comedic” aspect. This shift in tone may prove attractive to viewers not immediately entranced by the presence of Dominic Cooper or the promise of a storyline involving the ominous affairs a small town preacher, his “badass” ex-girlfriend, and Irish “vagabond” (i.e., vampire) have somehow gotten themselves mixed up in.
At any rate, for those who already know what the series is about or simply like their television dramas dark and ill-omened, then AMC’s probably been hitting it out of the park when it comes to building anticipation for Preacher. For everyone else, there’s still plenty of time for the network to figure out an angle that will get you excited.
Preacher is set to premiere Sunday, May 22 @10pm on AMC.