Garth Ennis' Preacher comic book series is a bonafide cult-classic, but its outlandish story and characters have long made it a problem child for TV/movie adaptation. That problem seems to has been solved, however, as AMC has announced that it is a bringing a Preacher TV series to air, and the showrunners are none other than comedic collaborators Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg (Superbad).
That left-field decision certainly took fans of the comic by surprise - and left them with quite a few worries, as well. Namely: how safe is the Preacher saga in the hands of the guys behind films like Pineapple Express, This is the End - and yes, that reprehensible Green Hornet reboot? Well, Evan Goldberg is addressing that very topic in a new interview.
Collider correspondent Perri Nemiroff was at SXSW talking with Evan Goldberg about he and Rogen's latest film, The Neighbors, but Goldberg was game to fill in a few details about their approach to the Preacher TV series.
“We just had a meeting with AMC and Garth Ennis, who’s the writer, and we all kind of seemed to agree that we’re gonna stay as true to the comic as we can. We need to change some stuff but we’re not gonna change much, I hope. We’re just gonna do a little more of the preamble instead of doing flashbacks and restructure how we dole out the information a little, but we’re gonna [do the] same characters, same story, same ending. We’re gonna try to stick to Preacher as best we can. We’re making it with Sam Catlin who did Breaking Bad, and so he might tell me I’m wrong about all of this and that the real way to do it is different because he’s much smarter and better at all this than I am. But we’re gonna try to stick to what it is as best we can.”
“We’re beyond excited, we’ve tried to make it for 10 years. The big difference is everyone else tried to make it a movie and it shouldn’t be a movie. It should be an AMC show, that’s the proper way for it to get done… It’s too big; you can’t do that in a movie. It’s just too big. You’ve gotta learn the characters, it’s all about a love triangle and you need to grow with them and see the woman swayed one way or the other, and in a movie you just can’t accomplish all that.”
For those who don't know, Preacher is (putting it simply and very mildly) about a preacher named Jesse Custer with a not so pious past, who is endowed with god-like powers through tragic and traumatic circumstances. Instead of heroism or wonders, Jesse decides to use his power to track down and kill God, with whom he has many beefs. The mercenary girlfriend and alcoholic Irish vampire that Jesse hooks up are also just part of the basic setup to this tale of violence, depravity and religion.
There are so many elements of the Preacher comic that are hard to imagine on the TV screen at all - let alone airing on basic cable. Then again, people once said that about The Walking Dead, a show that has not shied away from blood, gore and some very dark adult material. And in this day an age where bleak dramas like TWD or True Detective are capturing hold of the zeitgeist, a well-executed take on Preacher could just be crazy enough to be a hit.
...and it's just possible that the guys with the comedic sensibilities to make a stoner buddy action comedy like Pineapple Express may be the ones who truly get the sardonic humor of the Preacher comic.
For more on what Goldberg and Rogen are working on, head over to Collider.
We'll keep you updated on the status of the Preacher TV series - coming to AMC.