In less than a week, Preacher calls forth The Word on AMC viewers. If early reviews are to be believed, the adaption of Garth the Ennis/Steve Dillon graphic novel is something of a spectacle (in a good way). The Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg executive-produced show, with Sam Catlin (Breaking Bad) as showrunner, will tell the hilariously blasphemous story of Reverend Jesse Custer (Dominic Cooper) and his rag-tag band of cohorts on a quest to set the universe right.
As the hype builds around the heavily anticipated show, AMC has fired off another teaser for the TV series. It also announced that much like its fellow comic-based zombie fest The Walking Dead, Preacher will get an after-show.
CBR reports that Chris Hardwick (Talking Dead), the AMC post-show host du jour, will follow up the 90-minute premiere episode and the finale episodes of Preacher with a special wrap-up, Talking Preacher. The first special brings together Rogen and Goldberg, as well as showrunner Catlin and star Cooper on to discuss the aftermath. The latest teaser, scored with rockabilly legend Wanda Jackson’s “Both Sides of the Line” also just landed (watch it below). Featuring the show’s kinetic camera work, the featurette introduces new viewers to wacky characters like Irish Vamp Cassidy (Joseph Gilgun), Emily (Lucy Griffiths), Sherriff Root (W. Earl Brown), Eugene/Arseface (Ian Colletti), and of course Custer and his fiery ex, Tulip O’Hare (Ruth Negga).
The Irish actress also recently sat down with CBR during SXSW to discuss her roles in Warcraft and Preacher. Speaking about the provocative series, Negga discussed the character’s feministic bent and the controversial changes the producers made to the character. She says the producers were trying to escape the more “wounded” Tulip from the comics:
“She needs to be a match for both of these men. I think that it was super important for Seth (Rogen) and Evan (Goldberg) to have a woman who wasn't -- I'm not saying she was like this in the comic, but -- sort of like a projection for things. She has a very strong story in her own right. She's not a quite point of reference for Jesse's story. The way she's introduced in this is basically a calling card, going, "She's nobody's girlfriend." Or, "She's not just somebody's girlfriend."
She also addresses the stereotype that anti-heroes in fiction:
“I think there's a lot of women like me, who -- I was like, "Oh, I don't really identify with that all the time, because I can be as explosive as the next person." I want the portrayal of women on screen and television to allow me to feel like it's okay to be the anti-hero. It's not determined by sex, or it shouldn't be, but we've been sort of trained to think that, that this is road for women, and this is the road for men.”
The actress also touches upon the most talked about Tulip shift, from a Caucasian character in the comic to an African-American in the show. Negga says:
“I was reading this article in the last year saying, "These brown people are taking all these white people's roles!" And I was like, really? Are you serious? And people are saying, "Oh, God, I hope this doesn't change Tulip too much!" And I'm like, well, you know, she's just not blonde, but brown and has smaller boobs. It doesn't change the essential nature of this person. It's an interesting element, isn't it?...I mean, it's set in the South, and it doesn't ignore the fact that it's a mixed place.”
Negga’s comments, along with the quirky look at the characters from the teaser, bode for an interesting foray into the Preacher realm. Already no stranger to controversy, the graphic novel pushed boundaries in the classic Ennis style with its hyper-violent edge and sacrilegious storyline. If the show manages to capture even a fraction of the frenetic energy and irreverent characterization, Preacher could be AMC’s next watercooler series – or might at least be worth sticking around for the after show.
Despite the positive early reviews, Preacher has caused a fair amount of viewer trepidation. As with any beloved comic book brought to the screen, fan-based derision is inevitable. But with Ennis’ blessing behind the show, hopefully Rogen, Goldberg, and Catlin’s adaption will surprise and shock even the most hardcore fans.
Preacher debuts Sunday, May 22 on AMC at 10/9 central.