‘Preacher’ TV Series to Diverge From Comics

Published 12 months ago by , Updated December 4th, 2014 at 7:51 am,

Preacher Custer 2 Preacher TV Series to Diverge From Comics

Will AMC’s germinating Preacher adaptation stick close to its source material, or will it pull a Walking Dead and go its own way? That, perhaps, is the most pressing question for the fledgling series as writers Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen mull over their scripting decisions in the press. Over the past month or so, conflicting reports from both Superbad authors have rolled in, making the ultimate shape that Preacher will take on television tricky to nail down. At times they’ve pledged to stay true to the comic, at others, less so.

Nobody ever said that transitioning anything from page to screen is easy, much less a serial as celebrated as Garth Ennis’ graphic tale of honor, duty, manhood, and faith. (“Graphic” in the literal sense. Preacher isn’t for the squeamish or easily offended.) So the clashing statements made by Goldberg and Rogen can be forgiven, if not completely understood. But it seems that the pair has finally picked a direction for interpreting Ennis’ work under the AMC brand, and that they’ll be willfully diverging from it.

How substantially remains to be seen for now, of course, but this comes secondhand from the horse’s mouth. Rogen, in a recent interview with Collider, talked a bit about his and Goldberg’s macro approach to writing the pilot, and how they’re trying to move narrative pieces into place before putting pen to paper; more importantly, he specifically touched on the fruitlessness of making a truly faithful adaptation of comic books. Here’s the full quote from Rogen:

“It’s pointless just to make a literal interpretation of the comics, if you want that experience you can go read the comics, so we’ve had to do a lot more work than I expected before we could actually start writing the pilot, honestly. We kind of have to shape the whole series in a weird way and think like, ‘Oh, what season would this character come in? When would you first introduce his guy? Where does this go? Why is this guy here?’ So that’s kind of what we’re doing now is shaping almost the whole series.”

At face value, all of this makes sense; the ebb and flow of visual mediums like film and television is completely different from that of a book or a comic. That’s a fancy way of saying that transplanting the latter into the former requires a good deal of logistical maneuvering for best results. This is a lesson most recently learned in the Game of Thrones, which has already split one of George R.R. Martin’s novel across two seasons, but which also cropped up in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy, which reconfigured the story’s timeline in big ways just to make everything fit into three films.

Preacher Custer Preacher TV Series to Diverge From Comics

But there’s a downside to tinkering with a beloved property’s parts for the sake of adaptation – you risk either alienating or flat-out ticking off said property’s fans. Then again, maybe not; Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead have both proven that companies like HBO and AMC can get away with taking a sharp turn off the beaten path, so much so that they’re capable of taking their readers off guard. (And sometimes even the people at the helm.)

It could be that Rogen and Goldberg are just responding to the most recent trend in modern literary adaptations, or it could just be that they want to make Preacher their own. Either way, it sounds like they’re working toward a personalized vision of Ennis’ world of ceaseless cussing, harsh violence, vampires, angels, demons, serial killers, God, and more, and right now, that seems very much like it could be a good thing.


AMC’s Preacher TV series in currently in development.

Source: Collider

Follow Andy Crump on Twitter @agracru
TAGS: Preacher
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  1. Walking dead differs from the comics but ultimately is not as good it gets very cheesy and melodramatic as time goes on. I still watch but it’s not a great show.

  2. Walking dead is very cheesy and has some dodgy acting sometimes it’s very hard to care about a show that will drag on forever without and end in sight. Also the tv versions of most characters are so cheesy. I hope preacher isn’t as laughable.

    • walking dead is a fun show. get off your high-horse.

      • I love how the automatic response to an opinion people dont like is always along the lines get off your high horse.
        The fellas opinion is perfectly valid and is actually shared by a lot of people. There are certainly no lanky horses involved.

        • Yeah, I haven’t seen much of the show myself (saw the first season, thought it was crap) but my brother has seen all 4 seasons so far and watches purely out of habit while admitting that the show isn’t very good at all.

          I guess you can tell that billyjack isn’t a fan of TV and probably only jumped onto this show because it became a popular thing in mainstream society. He’ll latch onto the next big fad eventually.

    • Wha!!?? O: I thought y were going comment how much the comic is cheesy and seems to drag on and on and on etc.

  3. The governor was so over the top cheesy. Bad Bad Bad.

  4. “If you want that experience you can go read the comics.”


    Finally someone says it. Being faithful isn’t the end-all be-all of good adaptions. You wanna see classic Spider-Man? You wanna see Walking Dead play out like the comics? Then go read the friggin’ comics. Give the guys a chance to do there own thing and be creative. Even if the shows sucks, even if it’s god awful, the books are unharmed. The original story is still there to read when you want to.

    Stephen King was once asked how he felt about his work being adapted and if he was alright with them destroying the source material…King responded “They haven’t done anything to my books. They’re right there on my shelf.”

    • I should clarify that King was paraphrasing a quote originally said by James N. Cain. I only mentioned King because, to most, he’s a much more recognizable name than Cain.

    • Maybe you should look at King’s reaction the The Shining.

      • Stephen King has repeatedly gone back and forth on his views of The Shining. He’s said it’s awful, he’s said it’s good. He’s wasn’t the best example but as I stated, King was only used in place of Cain because he’s a more mainstream, recognizable name. The quote was originally stated by James M. Cain. The original works are not ‘damaged’ or ‘raped’ as people like to put it all so often. A film or TV series based on a book doesn’t actually change or damage the original book. The original story is still there, in it’s entirety and quality for your enjoyment.

        Regardless of King’s specific stance on a film., MY point was and still is valid.

        But thank you for attempting to undermine it. That was very mature of you.

        • That quote was used on a recent British TV show too because David Morrisey (who plays The Governor in TWD) was talking about a new drama he’s involved in that’s similar to Strike Back and was asked what the author of the books the show is based on would saying to those worried that his stories would be drastically altered for TV.

          Wish I could remember what the show/book series was called.

        • I think the point is that Stephen King produced his own, faithful-to-the-book adaptation of The Shining and it was a piece of s*** like all of his books.

          ultimately i could do away with some of Preacher’s worst moments, but I think a more or less ‘faithful’ version, where the names, locations, and timeline of big events are kept in chronological order. And you know, as long as any new characters added are temporary. n the end it’s gotta be Jesse, Tulip and Cassidy.

          Also if they don’t make Cassidy Irish I’d be okay with that as well. Just, don’t cramp a whole storyline into one episode “for the fans” cause it’s cheap and nobody’s going to like it.

  5. I am partial to Dawn of the Dead myself. Reminds me of times I have worked in shopping malls.

  6. Just quit while you’re ahead Seth, and give it to someone who actually loves the source material to do it.

    • You know who loves the comics and has always wanted to star in a potential adaption?

      TV presenter/comedian Rufus Hound. It was his love for the Preacher series during a conversation I had with him at a comedy club in 2003 (legendary comedy venue The Glee Club in Birmingham to be precise, that turned me onto the series and made me a fan of it too.

      • Only saw him once in an Australian/UK sketch comedy show that aired on PBS. Don’t about his acting but from his look he could play Saints Of Killer.

        And Hermione Norris should play Tulip.

    • You seem to be forgetting that Garth Ennis himself said that he was impressed with the grasp of the material that Rogen possess, which leaves him in confidence of the production. Which has not been the case in the past.

      I agree that Rogen would not have been the choice that I would have immediately thought off, or even vetted from the outset at all. But if Ennis says he’s got what it takes to make it right, I trust him. After all, he created it.`

  7. When he says weird, does that mean his goal is to make the TV series similar to the Green Hornet? If that is the case, this show will last 3 or 4 episodes.

  8. call me crazy, but i’ve always pictured herr starr being played by james woods.

  9. I personally never had a high opinion of the Walking Dead Comic to begin with but Preacher is a different story i fear they will remove the best parts