A Low-Key Cast
So Seth Rogen is reportedly producing a TV adaptation of Preacher for AMC (opens in new tab) , but what are the key ingredients for the series?
Top of the list for us is a low-key (read: non-A-list) cast. Though we’re sure a TV budget wouldn’t stretch to massive stars anyway, the characters in Preacher are so colourful that hiring lesser-known actors for the parts would work in the show’s favour.
That said, James Marsden was attached to a movie adap way back in 2002, and he’d still be an interesting choice for Jesse Custer, the priest of the title. Marsden admitted being “blown away” by the comics in ‘02, so the passion’s clearly there…
This is a must, and considering the show’s potentially being made by AMC, the home of The Walking Dead , we’re not too concerned about any scrimping.
Preacher is one of the goriest comics ever written – its balls-out gore is one of its many defining features – and a TV show would be nothing without it.
A tip for the show-makers: if you’re worried you’re using too much gore, unload another bucket of blood just to be safe.
Obviously. Not only is he possibly the most iconic character in the entire comic, he’s also one of the coolest heroes ever created.
Why? Well, his deliciously dark back-story is nothing like Batman’s… or Superman’s… or any of the other better-known comic heroes. It’s messed up, and it’s beautiful (there’s something to do with a shotgun, we won’t give it away), brilliantly detailed in standalone ‘The Story Of You-Know-Who’.
As with the comics, they’d need subtitles for what he’s saying, but that’s all part of the wonderfully kooky world of Preacher .
Clearly religion has to make an appearance (it’s called Preacher for goodness sake), but if Rogen’s serious about doing Preacher justice on the small screen, he’ll need to tackle the religious aspects of the story head-on.
Yes, that means giving Catholicism a bit of a bashing (something that DJ Caruso, previously attached to make a film adaptation, balked at).
It also means keeping in the awesomely-grotesque character of the descendent of Jesus Christ. Grim doesn’t quite cover it.
If the TV show ends up being a loyal adaptation of the comics, this will happen anyway, but one of the greatest things about Garth Ennis’ comics was the entirely shambolic nature of the characters’ relationships.
Cassidy’s a drunken Irish vampire whose friendship with priest Jesse Custer takes a dodgy turn when Cassidy reveals he loves Custer’s girlfriend, Tulip.
Meanwhile, Custer’s relationship with Tulip is on the rocks anyway because, well, that would be telling…
Herr Starr is a total bastard. Even better, he’s a bald, one-eyed Nazi nutcase – sort of like Walking Dead ’s The Governor, only meaner and way more crazy.
He’s the ‘Sacred Executioner’ of the Grail and a sexual pervert whose ‘pleasure acts’ are probably just a little TOO gross to put on TV. Probably.
There’s a lot of ground to cover in the comics, and the only way of doing any of the many characters’ back-stories any justice would be to take the flashback approach.
It worked brilliantly on True Blood (and, before that, Buffy and Angel ), and would be an easy solution for including, say, the ‘Saint of All Killers’ standalone series, which tells of the origins of the badass gunslinger.
When your story contains an evil Executioner who likes urinating in the mouths of prostitutes, it’s pretty obvious you’ll need to balance out the horror with the humour.
Which means Rogen could be the perfect choice for bringing Preacher to TV. With This Is The End , he proved that he could make possession funny (a one-liner-spewing Jonah Hill with demon insides) and even make a demon with a giant wang plausible.
If he does the same with Preacher , we’re golden.