Despite multiple attempts to adapt writer Garth Ennis and artist Steve Dillon's beloved 1990s comic book Preacher, the story has stalled out in both film and TV formats. However, AMC confirmed the network was developing a new television adaptation from This Is the End writing/directing duo Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg in early 2014 and later ordered it to pilot.
The Preacher pilot began production in May and Rogen soon after offered fans on Twitter a look at the series' lead, Jesse Custer, played by Dominic Cooper (Agent Carter, Dracula Untold). Now, Rogen has taken to Twitter to announce that AMC has officially picked up Preacher to series.
Rogen tweeted that Preacher is heading to AMC and included the first poster for the series (below). Additionally, Rogen initially announced the series would premiere in May 2016, but has since taken that tweet down. AMC has officially confirmed a 10-episode order that will debut midway through 2016 - so likely May or later.
In a statement, Rogen and Goldberg expressed their excitement about the series pickup and how the original comic influenced the style of the TV adaptation:
“We started reading the comic when it first came out in the ‘90s. In many ways Garth’s sense of drama and comedy and Steve Dillon’s visual aesthetic helped form our style, and the idea that we are actually bringing ‘Preacher’ to life is a dream come true. This is the craziest thing ever and we can’t wait to move forward and work our asses off to make it the best it can be.”
Rogen and Goldberg will serve as executive producers on Preacher; the duo also directed the pilot written by Sam Catlin (Breaking Bad), who will serve as the series' showrunner. The show will follow Jesse Custer, a Texas preacher who has merged with a supernatural being born from both an angel and a demon. Along with his hitwoman ex-girlfriend Tulip O'Hare (Ruth Negga) and the alcoholic Irish vampire Cassidy (Joseph Gilgun), Jesse will travel across the country to find and kill God, who has abandoned heaven. Lucy Griffiths (Constantine) and Ian Colletti (Rake) co-star.
Given the supernatural elements and controversial subject matter, it's easy to see why previous adaptations of Preacher had difficulty getting off the ground. But, AMC's success in adapting Robert Kirkman's Walking Dead graphic novels - now a TV franchise that has grown to include Fear the Walking Dead and a standalone special set in the zombie universe - lends itself to giving Preacher the proper treatment. That, paired with the passion for the comic expressed both in Rogen and Goldberg's statement, as well as the poster that pays homage to the cover art of Preacher Book One, seems to indicate Jesse Custer has found a suitable home on AMC.
Of course, it's still too early to judge the success of Preacher since the series won't premiere until next year and all fans have to go on are set photos, a poster and the statements of those close to the project. Additionally, Rogen has said the series won't be a literal adaptation of the comics, which could either be a benefit or detriment to the show. Either way, once the expected premiere date for Preacher draws closer, we'll know more about how this adaptation is going to pan out.
Preacher is expected to premiere on AMC in mid-2016.