I can’t be the only person getting burned out on Marvel and DC superheroes taking over television as much as the cinemas, while lesser-known properties get left behind. (12-year-old me is so disappointed in myself.) Nothing makes me happier than knowing AMC is once again breaking the mold by reportedly ordering a pilot for Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon’s classic late-1990s supernatural western series Preacher. And if that wasn’t outstanding enough, the adaptation is apparently coming from Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, last responsible for This is the End. I think I may have lost half of you with that last statement.
The news of AMC’s pilot order came from Badass Digest, while Rogen himself ever so non-delicately went to Twitter to announce the news, although in as unofficial a way as possible. First, he said that “seven years of hard work are about to pay off,” and that he “may get to bring one of my favorite stories ever to life.” He followed that cryptic post with this one.
Should this project actually make it to air, Arseface will be one of the more morose characters ever to hit television, as the teen gets his name from how badly his face got messed up after a suicide attempt. But there are many, many other aspects of this comic that would also present challenges for cable TV.
The series follows the John Wayne-like Jesse Custer, a hard-knock preacher in a small Texas town that becomes possessed by a half-angel, half-demon named Genesis, following a devastating accident. He then travels the country in search of God, teamed with his badass ex-girlfriend Tulip O’Hare and a liquor-loving foul-mouthed vampire named Cassidy. Preacher features gory violence, sure, but it’s the other dark and controversial subject matter, including racial and religious issues that will truly be a task to pass by network censors. AMC has tackled some rather dreary and vicious material with The Walking Dead, but Preacher utilizes powerful storytelling that the zombie drama is sorely lacking.
Now this is a series that has seen repeated potential adaptations fall apart, breaking many a geek’s heart in the process. Ennis’ own script originally went to Kevin Smith’s View Askew, and was later attached to directors such as DJ Caruso and even Sam Mendes at one point. It’s easy to think of how odd a pairing Rogen/Goldberg and Preacher are, but there’s no real reason for them to go far beyond the page to get the story told, as Ennis and Dillon’s vision remains just as perfect and fresh as it always has been. As well, let’s hope such big-named involvement will get other non-superhero comics more time on the air, and maybe Netflix will order another comic quartet, this time filled with other recent failed small-screen adaptations, such as Chew, Locke & Key, The Sixth Gun and The Amazing Screw-On Head.
And finally, the most burning question on everyone’s minds: what’s his lighter going to say?