Vertigo's Preacher, created by writer Garth Ennis and artist Steve Dillon, is not a comic book for kids. In addition to being ultra-violent and more than a little sacrilegious, it also features some pretty rough characters. Perhaps no character save Preacher himself has become as closely associated with the series as the gruesomely disfigured Arseface.
With Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg adapting the comic into a live-action series for AMC, one question has been how the character of Arseface would look. After all, he did not get the name by winning a beauty pageant. While previous set photos had given a rough look at actor Ian Colletti as Arseface, AMC has finally released a close-up, hi-res look at the character.
Coming by way of Variety, the above picture was released by AMC during during a WonderCon panel at the Los Angeles Convention Center. It reveals that the character is not quite as disfigured as in the comic book, with the bulk of his arsefacedness happening below the nose rather than the entire face. This may be to make him less stomach-turning for the live-action series, or it may be because it would otherwise be too difficult to pull off, since according to Rogen the look is accomplished through a no-doubt grueling application of prosthetics and makeup:
"We could never afford that in CGI – it’s a prosthetic rig. That poor little f—er has to wear that s–t on his face. He has a positive attitude about it, but I know it f—ing sucks. He can emote a lot even with the thing on his face.”
Arseface's storyline in the Preacher comics is about as darkly comic as dark comedy can get. Having grown up with an abusive father, he attempts to emulate his idol Kurt Cobain (a plot point that betrays the time period in which the comic was written) by committing suicide with a shotgun blast to the face. The blast fails to kill him, however, leaving him with his disfigurement and unintelligible speech. The origin story may be tweaked a bit for the TV series, given that Rogen has indicated that it is not an exact adaptation of the comics, as may be Arseface's ensuing adventures, which sidetrack pretty heavily from Preacher's main story arc.
Preacher is a series that some considered unadaptable, and certainly in a form that would be suitable for basic cable. AMC has already been successful in turning an extremely violent and adult-oriented comic into a successful TV series with The Walking Dead, though, which is no doubt what emboldened them to try it once again. Whether or not they can draw a big audience with a story about a man on a mission to kill God, while at the same time keeping groups like One Million Moms (who recently boycotted sponsors of FOX's Lucifer) at bay, remains to be seen.
See the full version of AMC's Arseface pic below:
Preacher premieres Sunday, May 22nd, 2016 on AMC.