There are a handful of comic series that are so incredibly good, I bought every single trade paperback. One is The Walking Dead. Another is Preacher. My favorite television series of all time is Breaking Bad. So imagine, if you will, the nerdy joy violently exploding from my heart at the news that Preacher has officially been put into television development by AMC, the network behind The Walking Dead -- and Breaking Bad's Sam Catlin will executive produce and serve as showrunner.
Seriously, I am so incredibly geeked out about this, I'm even willing to accept the fact that Seth Rogen is the mastermind behind the whole thing. (Yes. Seth Rogen.) Preacher has been mired in development hell for almost a DECADE, and it's finally, finally happening. Even if you've never read the comic, I promise: you should be excited too.
It's difficult to describe what Preacher is all about, but I'll give it a shot: the story centers on a Texas reverend named Jesse Custer (who totally should have been played by Johnny Depp if anyone could have gotten this off the ground 10 years ago), his badass ex-girlfriend Tulip O'Hare, and a boozy, snarky Irish vampire named Cassidy. In the midst of many crazy adventures, Jesse's hunting down God to find out why He abandoned Heaven when a supernatural creature named Genesis (the offspring of an unauthorized coupling of an angel and a demon) was born, and he's being pursued by one of the most incredible villains ever to appear in a comic series: the Saint of Killers (who for SURE should have been played by Clint Eastwood, once upon a time).
There's a lot more that goes on in the story -- I mean, a LOT more -- but that's the gist of it. The whole series is beyond amazing, but it's also quite violent and controversial, which is probably one of the reasons why it hasn't got off the ground until now.
The Walking Dead has proven that an adults-oriented comic series can be translated to the small screen with great success, so I'm not surprised AMC is the network that finally made the big gamble. It's really promising that Breaking Bad alum Scott Catlin is on board as show runner, and even though the whole Seth Rogen thing isn't necessarily a big selling point, the good news is that he's a major fan of the series. Here's Rogen's joint statement with his This Is the End partner Evan Goldberg:
This is amazing! We've tried for seven years to work on Preacher and we're so psyched AMC is finally letting us. It is our favorite comic of all time, and we're going to do everything we can to do it right. Humperdoo!
It sounds like they went off their meds at the end there, but "Humperdoo" is a line from the comic. It's repeated by, um, an inbred feces-throwing descendant of Jesus Christ.
Preacher writer Garth Ennis and artist Steve Dillon have also issued an upbeat-sounding statement about the project:
Steve Dillon and I are very happy to see Preacher being developed for TV, which seems a much more natural home for the story than a two-hour movie. Between them, Sony TV and AMC have brought viewers two of my favorite shows with Breaking Bad and Mad Men, and it's exactly that kind of creative commitment and courage that Preacher needs. Obviously it’s taken a while, but Ken Levin along with Neal Moritz and his team refused to give up, long after the point when I myself grew skeptical, and their unrelenting enthusiasm for the project has gotten us where we need to be. I'm particularly impressed that Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg and Sam Catlin understand Preacher fully -- meaning they get it for what it is, not some vague approximation. All in all, it looks like Preacher can now be brought to TV in a way that I'd previously not have thought possible, and I very much appreciate that Steve and I have been included in the conversation in the way that we have.
HOLY CRAP I CAN'T WAIT, YOU GUYS. Also, I'm beyond curious to see who they cast. (Who's got money on James Franco, Seth's BFF, as Jesse?)
Are you a Preacher fan? What do you think about the news of this show?
Image via Vertigo